It’s Bike Month, So NYC Closed the Busiest Bike Route in the Country With No Notice. Again.

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Continuing what’s become an annual tradition, the Parks Department has set up a bike dismount zone on the Hudson River Greenway for Fleet Week. Adhering to past practice, Parks posted no notice of the detour on its website or Twitter.

The reader who sent the above photo says people are being directed to walk their bikes between 46th and 48th streets. Motor vehicle lanes on the West Side Highway are unaffected.

“Once again no accommodation for cyclists using the busiest bike path in nation on one of the busiest bike weekends,” says our tipster.

After last year’s surprise shutdown, Parks said the dismount zone was about “[e]nsuring the safety of all.” But the dismount zone doesn’t address the most severe threat to Fleet Week crowds — all the lanes of zooming motorized traffic nearby. In 2011 a motorist killed Marine Steve Jorgenson as he and his shipmates exited a cab on the West Side Highway at W. 49th Street during Fleet Week. (This is also the area where a driver fatally struck Jack Koval in a crosswalk last year.)

In the past, the city figured out how to accommodate this event without disrupting bike travel so much. NYPD repurposed a lane of the West Side Highway for greenway users during Fleet Week in 2003. While cycling in the city has only increased since then, today Parks and NYPD apparently give less consideration to cycling as a mode of travel.

  • JK

    This year it appears to be a police thing. No Parks Dept people anywhere. Kinda dismal that the Police or Mayor, or whomever, haven’t managed to create a protected bike detour onto the West Side Highway a routine annual thing — like making many thousands of cyclists walk their bikes for blocks through crowds of tourists every Memorial Day weekend.

  • ItsEasyBeingGreen

    One step forward, two steps back. Will any of the Avenue bike lanes be upgraded to low-stress before the Hudson River Greenway is killed by a thousand cuts?

  • Kevin Love

    The link for the 2003 West Side Highway repurposing does not appear to be working.

    I would be willing to realize that there was slightly more than zero notification to car drivers of this change.

  • AMH

    Incredible. Thanks for posting it here at least, so I won’t make the mistake of biking that way this weekend.

  • J

    The Parks Department doesn’t care about bike people.

  • New York’s police force once again operates in a manner indistinguishable from a military junta, as it arrogates to itself the policy-making function while the civilian government looks on helplessly.

  • nanter

    Take a lane on the west side highway?

  • redbike

    > NYC Closed the Busiest Bike Route in Country With No Notice. Again.

    > continuing what’s become an annual tradition,

    It seems to me you’re contradicting yourself and answering your own question. Seven years’ past practice constitutes “notice”. What’s the surprise? (ref: Lucy / Charlie Brown / football — “Oh Drat!”)

    The Hudson River pedpath is the I-95 of bike routes. Closing it to people riding bicycles shows the true priorities of the Hudson River Park Trust and various NYC departments including police and transportation. If a bicycle path is obstructed, people riding bicycles aren’t required to use it. With a modicum of good will, there are workarounds. Here’s one that’s worked well in past years:

    Northbound: Exit the pedpath at 41st St. Cross to the northbound side of 12th Av. Continue north using 12th Av’s eastern (right) lane. At 56th St, cross 12th Av and resume riding on the pedpath.

    Southbound: Exit the pedpath where you encounter “Dismount” signs, or where pedestrian density obstructs the bike path. Continue south using 12th Av’s western (right) lane. At 43rd St, resume riding on the pedpath.

  • Vooch

    Reallocating one lane on 12th Avenue for cyclists would be a sensible method of accommodating both the sailors and commuting cyclists.

    since it worked in 2003, it could be done again.

    the sailors get more pedestrian space and the conmuting cyclists get to work on time.

    win win

  • HamTech87

    Is that barrier an import? The font on the dismount sign looks English, and the shape of the barrier with those indentations, does too.

  • Alan
  • Ken Dodd

    Why would they import a crappy little barrier like that though lol…..

  • Anon resident

    Does anyone know what the Mayors Office of Community Affairs does? Shouldn’t they communicate this kind of info out to residents?

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