Skip to Content
Streetsblog New York City home
Streetsblog New York City home
Log In
East River Greenway

Eyes on the Street: Sudden Collapse in East River Greenway

east_side_cavein.jpgThe East River Greenway collapsed at 72nd Street without the usual warning signs. Photo: seth_holliday/Flickr

Gothamist posted this alarming picture of a cave-in on the East River Greenway that first appeared on Wednesday. After the initial fencing off and some calls to 311, the city responded by installing the temporary span shown below.

east_side_cavein_fix.jpgPhoto: Erin Lamberty

I'm not a regular rider of the East Side path, but reader BicyclesOnly tells us that sinkholes and cave-ins in the greenway are common occurrences. Usually a depression forms in the surface of the path first, giving some signal about what's in store. What's rare about the collapse at 72nd Street is that it happened without those warning signs, and that the city
responded quickly and put in a temporary pathway. (Although the
planks look like an iffy proposition for cyclists to handle without
dismounting first.)

At other sinkholes, the fencing remains in place,
narrowing the greenway path and creating pinch points that put the
squeeze on bicycle and pedestrian traffic, some of which linger for years. Right now there are large sinkholes fenced off at 110th Street and 118th Street. One pothole, at 64th Street, has been fenced off since 2006 with no permanent fix. Another, at 74th Street, is still surrounded by fencing after three years.

We have a request in with the Parks Department to see if there are any initiatives in the works to prevent these recurring hazards from happening. The only protected bicycling facility on the East Side is incomplete, riddled with pinch points, and in terrible physical condition. The suddenness of this week's cave-in suggests that the sorry state of the greenway poses a danger that can't be ignored any longer.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog New York City

Friday’s Headlines: Hochul’s Fantasy World Edition

The governor has gone off the deep end. Plus other news.

July 19, 2024

Speaker Adams: Council May Not Use its ‘Sammy’s Law’ Power to Lower Speed Limits

The Council may not lower the speed limit, even though it fought so hard to get that very right from the state legislature.

July 19, 2024

Parks Dept. Has Money But No Timeline to Finish Eastern Queens Greenway

There's tens of millions of dollars for the greenway, so when will parks build it?

July 19, 2024

Thursday’s Headlines: Paris is a Lot Cooler than NYC Edition

The City of Light has figured out how to reduce the heat island effect. Plus other news in today's daily digest.

July 18, 2024

Exclusive: Legal Team Announced for Suit Against Hochul’s Congestion Pricing ‘Pause’

Attorneys from three firms have inked a joint defense agreement to fight "the governor’s illegal decision to cancel congestion pricing," Comptroller Brad Lander said.

July 17, 2024
See all posts