Mapping Out a Route for the Hudson River Greenway in the Bronx

The plan for the Hudson River Greenway in the Bronx includes improvements in the next three years in blue, the next decade in purple, and the years beyond in red. Image: NYMTC
The plan for the Hudson River Greenway in the Bronx: Improvements for the next three years are in blue, the next decade in purple, and the years beyond in red. Click to enlarge. Image: NYMTC

In 1991, Governor Mario Cuomo signed the Hudson River Valley Greenway Act, setting in motion the design and construction of a continuous walking and biking route along the river, from Manhattan to Saratoga County. More than two decades later, the New York Metropolitan Transportation Council — the NYC-area regional planning agency — has come up with a preferred route for the greenway through the Bronx and parts of Yonkers, which would fill the gap between the Manhattan Waterfront Greenway and the Old Croton Aqueduct Trail in Westchester County.

The study, funded by a $1 million earmark from Senator Charles Schumer in the 2005 federal transportation bill, involved years of workshops, meetings, and analysis by NYMTC and lead consultant The RBA Group to identify a route. Tweaks are still being considered, and NYMTC anticipates ironing out the final details by the middle of next year. This study, while comprehensive, simply outlines a preferred route and provides cost estimates. Bronxites looking to walk and bike on their section of the greenway are still a long way from seeing shovels in the ground.

Some residents of Palisade Avenue are worried that the greenway plans could ruin the bucolic nature of their street. Image: NYMTC
Some residents of Palisade Avenue are worried that the greenway plans could ruin the bucolic nature of their street — by adding sidewalks. Image: NYMTC

The route, running from the Henry Hudson Bridge to Yonkers, is broken into three phases, covering the next three years, the next decade, and beyond.

The first phase creates a physically-separated greenway path along Palisade Avenue and in Riverdale Park between 232nd and 254th Streets. North of 254th, it would create an on-street route along Palisade Avenue, 261st Street, and Riverdale Avenue to Yonkers. South of 232nd, an on-street route is planned along Palisade Avenue and Kappock Street to the Henry Hudson Bridge.

At last month’s Community Board 8 parks committee meeting, residents of Palisade Avenue raised concerns about the potential changes. Currently, the street, which carries two-way traffic and has on-street parking on its east side, does not have any lane markings. The report recommends building a sidewalk along the west side, striping a yellow centerline and adding shared lane markings for cyclists, while maintaining on-street parking.

Residents at the meeting were worried that sidewalk construction would require land takings and alter the wooded, alpine nature of the area. NYMTC is considering other options, including a painted area on the street that designates pedestrian space instead of a sidewalk. “We understand the residents’ concerns about the bucolic nature of the roadway,” said Gerry Bogacz, NYMTC’s planning director. Some residents requested that the plan relocate the greenway’s on-street route one block east to Independence Avenue, but Bogacz was less receptive to that idea.

To the north, the proposal calls for a new greenway path along the river from the Riverdale Metro North station to Ludlow Street in Yonkers, to be built within the next decade. A later phase would extend the waterside greenway south from Riverdale station to 232nd Street. Although the ultimate goal is to get the greenway route as close to the riverfront as possible, the plan assumes that cyclists will use an on-street route starting at 232nd Street to climb the hill and connect with the Henry Hudson Bridge.

The plan proposes two options for a new, wider path across the Henry Hudson Bridge. Image: NYMTC
The plan proposes two options for a new, wider path across the Henry Hudson Bridge. Image: NYMTC

Today, cyclists looking to go from Inwood to Riverdale must use the Broadway Bridge, which prohibits cyclists on the sidewalk, instead requiring them to ride on a steel-grate roadway with two lanes of traffic in each direction. A path on the west side of the Henry Hudson Bridge’s lower level offers a safer option, but the MTA requires cyclists to walk their bikes across the bridge. (Since the implementation of cashless tolling on the bridge last year, there are no longer toll booth agents on site regularly to enforce this rule.)

On the Manhattan side of the bridge, the plan recommends adding ramps to stairs along the greenway route in Inwood Hill Park in the short term. Over the next three to 10 years, the greenway plan envisions building a cantilevered path on the Henry Hudson Bridge’s west side that will be wide enough to accommodate a two-way bike path.

Amtrak’s swing bridge at the mouth of the Harlem River would provide an even more direct waterfront route than the Henry Hudson Bridge, but negotiations with Amtrak about using the existing span were fruitless. The only possibility for a greenway along this route, the report says, would come if the bridge is replaced as part of a future upgrade to the rail corridor.

The project includes a steering committee comprised primarily of representatives from New York City and Westchester County agencies, as well as Amtrak, and a technical advisory committee comprised mostly of community institutions, environmental groups, and advocates.

Although NYMTC has released a preferred route, consultation with advisory groups continues: Next week, NYMTC staff is meeting with Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. Last month, Bogacz gave a presentation to CB 8’s parks committee and hopes to go before the committee again in February before receiving final comments from the board in May. After funding for consultants runs out at the end of this year, NYMTC staff will be responsible for additional changes before the project wraps in mid-2014.

After that, implementation is up to the agencies that manage property along the greenway route, including the MTA, Amtrak, NYC DOT and the Parks Department. Bogacz said NYMTC will be able to help identify funding sources and, as with all regional transportation funding decisions, will coordinate projects in regional transportation plans if implementing agencies pursue them.

The concept plan’s recommendations, including changes in Inwood and Yonkers, are estimated to cost $110 million and to be implemented piecemeal over at least a decade. The biggest-ticket items are an estimated $30 million for the cantilevered path on the Henry Hudson Bridge and and an estimated $20 million for a greenway path between the river and the railroad from Riverdale station to Yonkers.

“It would be a complicated undertaking to implement this,” Bogacz said. “The biggest part of that is funding.”

  • Guest

    A little context:

    Palisade Avenue is quite narrow, has low traffic volumes, and actually works pretty well as a shared street. You will see the few people who live in this area out for a walk sometimes. I’ve walked the street a few times over the years, and it was comfortable.

    But this is also a very insular area. It has virtually no transit access and they see few outsiders. Some of the residents want it that way. (And remember there is an MTA board member who lives up here… how anybody is morally qualified to vote on policy for the nation’s largest transit system when they spent extra money to be deliberately removed from the transit system is beyond me…)

    From their perspective, they would lose some yard and landscaping that helps screen their house and provide privacy for sidewalks that are only necessary to accommodate outsiders cutting through their enclave (especially those damned cyclists!).

    That position cannot be allowed to prevail, but it’s important to understand the nature of their opposition to the sidewalks.

  • Ian Turner

    I don’t think it’s accurate that bicycles are allowed on the Broadway Bridge, even on the street.

  • qrt145

    I was confused by that sign, too, when I crossed that bridge.

    I just looked up VTL section 1110, expecting some rule about bikes on bridges or on sidewalks. But no–it’s a generic rule that says that you must obey whatever a “traffic control device” says (in other words, the footnote to the sign is a fancy way of saying “Why? Because I said so!”). Still, this sign is ambiguous. A reasonable person could think that it only applies to the sidewalk.

  • Let’s Spend Wisely

    “Over the next three to 10 years, the greenway plan envisions building a cantilevered path on the Henry Hudson Bridge’s west side that will be wide enough to accommodate a two-way bike path.”

    Look, I’m a huge fan of building a Hudson River Greenway, but building a cantilevered roadway for a bike lane onto the side of the Henry Hudson Bridge is a tremendous waste of money. We criticize wasteful road projects like too-big new TZ Bridge, and we should be consistent.

    The existing roadway on the Henry Hudson Bridge has more than enough space for a protected two-way bike path on the lower southbound level. The southbound HH Pkwy approach to the bridge is 2 lanes. But the Bridge itself has 3 lanes plus a breakdown lane. There is no need for all this extra road space for cars.

    The traffic congestion argument is moot now that there are camera tolls. If a car doesn’t have an EZPass, a camera snaps a pic of the license plate and mails the bill to the car owner.

  • Michael Klatsky

    This is old news? NYMTC has been giving brochures with this out for over a year.

  • ausserirdischesindgesund

    I really don’t get what the sidewalk and markings in the “after” picture above are good for. Here in Europe we are investing lots of money to tear out sidewalks in calmed areas to create a “shared space” setting, that slows down traffic, and makes pedestrians, drivers and cyclists act more cooperative, and traffic less stressful (you basically walk where you want, even if it is in the center of the street, drivers have to cope).

    If the road above does have speeding drivers, just install some bumps or rough pavement that slows them down. If not, where is the problem?

  • qrt145

    Removing sidewalks works great when there is high pedestrian density and the entire surface looks “sidewalk-like”. This makes the entire street look like a sidewalk, and the motorists feel like intruders. Would that treatment work on Palisade Avenue? I’m not so sure.

  • Omafiets

    To State the obvious. Why can’t the bike path follow the MTA track? No steep inclines nor expensive cantulevers needed.

  • BornAgainBicyclist

    This. We take walks up there to get out of Inwood sometimes, and even though it’s a narrow, curvy road, during good weather there are usually a number of walkers, dog walkers, and joggers out, and with very, very few exceptions, drivers are quite careful and courteous. I assume that it’s because they assume most people out walking are immediate neighbors.

    There’s definitely some bike hate going on — friends came across some pretty nutty anti-bike flyers that suggested adding bike-friendly elements would increase bike crashes and would therefore be unsafe for …. drivers. Apparently the flyer had a picture of the aftermath of a bike crash, with a cyclist a bit banged up.

  • Jim Zisfein

    There’s enough room on the west side of Broadway between 218th and 225th for a protected 2-way bike lane, which could continue on 225th to connect with the existing northbound bike lane on Marble Hill Ave. (This requires removal of 6 parking spaces on 225th.) Lightweight, porous rubber matting could be used to cover the metal grating on the bike path over the Broadway bridge. Going north the path would go left on 230th then left on Irwin -> Johnson (-> Kappock) -> Palisade and you have your connector. Easy and cheap.

  • Mike Rosenbloom

    I live in the area and bike to 59th street almost every day and I agree that

    1) I think Paliside is good as it is — it is reasonably safe

    2) Hudson bridge increase is waste of money — just take out “no bikes allowed sign” and let people do what they do already — communicate and let each other through.

    put a speed limit or something …

    3) now inwood park part is really scary at night it is has very sharp incline it is not lit at all and there are hardly any people after dark — so I trend to take the Broadway bridge in the Fall/Winter on the way back — there is no way to make it better because it is a natural forest and ppl want it that way — and that plan admits that by still routing bikers through the inwood park

    4) I addmitt I break a law every day in a winter . I ride on the sidewalk of the Broadway bridge, because I am not suicidal.

    We really need a protected line on that bridge — and I think that would solve the riverdale commuting by bike problem.

    Nice to have:

    — Seaman avenue in Inwood – repair the moonscape)

    — 230 st Add a separate bike line not shared bs
    — Riverdale Ave hill + add painted line bike line

    I bet you the whole thing would cost <1,000,000

  • I used to live in the area and commuted to 39th street almost every day.

    I agree Palisade is good as it is.

    The cantilevered path on HHB would only come after almost everything else is complete. I agree that it is fine as it is given the current level of traffic, but improving the Riverdale end of the greenway may result in a much higher number of cyclists.

    I went up the steep hill in Inwood Hill Park every day as well, even in winter, because it is vastly better than the Broadway Bridge (and so much faster). Pretty soon it will be even easier as the stairs at Riverside will be made redundant by the addition of a ramp at Dyckman. The only problem with the hill is that Parks Dept never clears the snow, so it gets pretty bad after a snow fall, but it is fine so long as it’s dry, just bring a powerful front light!

  • I believe this was rejected because it is a significant detour through a high-traffic area, and a high premium was placed on maintaining at least a view of the river, if not direct access, along the entire route.

  • Doing that would prevent future high-speed rail to Albany. There isn’t enough space between the tracks and the river bed, and on the other (eastern) side of the tracks is a protected forest. One could construct a cantilevered path over the water like in the 80s on the Upper West Side, where the HHP is right up against the river, but that is very expensive.

  • There are relatively few pedestrians on this street as it is. It is mostly a street for car traffic, and some cars do speed. Traffic calming would probably not increase pedestrian usage of the space, since the area is geographically isolated (at bottom of a steep hill).

  • What you say is all true, but even so the cantilevered side path costs peanuts compared to a new TZB.

  • My blog post on this topic has been seeing some of this bike hate recently in the comments. There seem to be a lot of misconceptions regarding what kinds of cyclists would benefit from enhancing this street.

  • I’ve been following this plan for years and the progress has been remarkably slow. In fact, other than last month’s CB8 parks committee meeting, I don’t see anything new here since the plan was unveiled at Riverdale Riverfest back in June. Why the sudden coverage?

    I also think the estimates for certain items, particularly the “long term” plan that they estimate as 3-10 years, is wildly optimistic. We’ll be lucky if there’s a cantilevered path off the HHB any time in the next 2 decades.

  • Mikhail Rosenbloom

    I am just afraid If I get mugged in the inwood park there will be no one to see me until the next morning. So I just lose about 10-15mins on the extra loop via riverdale ave. the Dykeman ramp never bothered me — if they could do something about the one over rail tracks — that is whole different story — I slipped there couple of times during the rain

  • There is a plan to put a narrow wheel ramp on the bridge over the Amtrak rails (like the one on the north path of the GWB). It won’t do much to prevent you from slipping, particularly if you wear bike shoes. I do and I know it is slippery. But at least you won’t have your bike on your shoulder at the time. Unfortunately, there are no plans currently to completely eliminate this bridge, and it was recently evaluated and deemed to be in reasonably good condition, despite outward appearances to the contrary.

    As for getting mugged in the park, it did seem scary to me at first, too, but I do see a decent number of cyclists and joggers coming through, plus there are often families down in the park when the weather is mild. Inwood itself has also gotten much safer over the years. Besides, I think the risk of mugging is lower than the risk of a bad traffic accident on the Broadway Bridge or along Riverdale Ave (I took Independence to the HHB, which is a designated slow zone max 20 MPH).

  • BornAgainBicyclist

    Wow. At least she’s willing to go on the record publicly? (????)

  • Joe R.

    You would be correct if we spent even a fraction of what we do on automotive infrastructure for bikes but that’s not case. I’m actually glad bicycles merit enough consideration to build a cantilevered roadway. I’m also for a lot more of this type of stuff, including way more complete grade separation, even if that entails expensive underground or above ground construction. Bike infrastructure, even of the expensive variety, costs a fraction of what motor vehicle infrastructure costs. I’ve heard of us spending $500 million on a freeway interchange. For that amount of money we could build 500 miles of totally grade-separated bike infrastructure, if not more. That’s enough to give NYC a comprehensive system of bike highways which would be supplemented by on-street bike lanes.

    Bottom line-don’t talk to me about wasteful spending related to bikes until AFTER we have something close to what motor vehicles have now.

  • Joe R.

    Incidentally, other places think nothing of spending this much and more on bicycles:

  • Let’s Spend Wisely

    Joe R. “Bottom line-don’t talk to me about wasteful spending related to bikes until AFTER we have something close to what motor vehicles have now.”

    Joe: please assume I’m a supporter of vastly expanded bike infra, and greatly reduced highway spending.

    But your argument — that we’re not allowed to weigh the usefulness of alternative bicycle projects untll we resolve the unfairness of car vs. bike infra — is too restrictive.

    And you can look at my request to convert a car lane on the HHB into a bike path as doing exactly what you want to see. Namely, bringing about a balance of expenditures (in this case, money already spent on the HHB) between cars and bikes.

    With Jersey Barriers and some paint, we can take a car lane from motorists and create a nice two-way path with the same separation from cars as the cantilevered path would provide.

    Then we can use the $30 million on the rest of the Hudson River Greenway, and extend the path along the river up to Tarrytown. As it stands now, the inland Old Croton Aqueduct is the Greenway route through much of way up to the TZ Bridge. Not sure you have ever tried to bike ride on it, but it is an unpaved, rocky, no-curb-ramp, head-jarring experience.

  • Joe R.

    Just to set things straight, I’m a big fan of doing things on small budgets, provided the overall objective isn’t compromised. For example, I’ve mentioned building out an extensive grade-separated bike highway system many times. At the same time, I’ve proposed leveraging existing grade-separated infrastructure where it exists instead of building brand new. There are two ways to do this. One is to hang a bike lane off the side or right under an elevated highway or railway viaduct. Another is to repurpose travel lanes for bikes, which is basically what you proposed. If it can be done politically, obviously taking car lanes on bridges or highways is going to cost far less than building new.

    I should have been clearer though about exactly what I meant by the statement you quoted. I don’t object to doing things on the cheap when possible. I do object to bringing up cost as a downside if there exists no less expensive way to accomplish the same goal. In this case, yes, there may well be if we can “steal” a car lane on the HHB. Philosophically I certainly have no objection to repurposing space from cars to bikes. The key thing is if it can be done politically fairly easily. Based on what I’ve seen, the answer is usually no. Faced with a choice of waiting years as the AAA and every other motor vehicle advocacy group fights repurposing car lanes or just building brand new, I’ll pick the latter. In the end I want people to use bikes. If we need to spend a lot of money in the short run to do that, then so be it. My thoughts are if we get more people riding by spending big for a few years, perhaps the next time we won’t face a big fight repurposing car infrastructure because cyclists will be a larger voting block.

    Finally, yes, at some point even I call out bike infrastructure which I consider wasteful. That day though will only come when we’ve either built out a reasonably complete network, including extensive grade-separated bikeways throughout NYC, or when we have cheaper, politically feasible alternatives while we’re building out this bike network.

    No, I never biked on the Old Crouton Aqueduct for two reasons. One, I’ve heard it’s in poor condition. Two, and much more importantly, I really have no easy, fast way to even get to the Hudson River Greenway from here in Eastern Queens. Every route involves local streets full of motor vehicles, traffic signals, stop signs, etc. I have no patience for that kind of riding, not when I’ll need to go through ~15 miles of that just to get to the Hudson River. I’d love to get on a grade-separated path above, say, the Long Island Expressway (6 blocks from me), and then be able to go on such paths all the way to the West Side of Manhattan, and then all the way upstate if I choose to. That’s the kind of bike network I envision where local streets are only used for the proverbial last mile. If your ideas can help create such a network for less money, then they’re certainly welcome.

  • Driver

    A lane above a constant stream of diesel trucks is probably one of the last places I would want to ride.

  • Joe R.

    You’re probably right but there are things we could do to mitigate the pollution, including enclosing the lane for weather protection. That said, I was merely thinking of places where we could build these things where it wouldn’t be objectionable on aesthetic grounds or unduly expensive. Near or above highways/railways/els seems to be one of those places.

  • Good point.

    Also, the idea of a network of grade-separated bikeways (even if it were remotely feasible) would be unwelcome for another basic reason: it would be awfully ugly. Imagine stanchions running up and down every large street; and think of the blockage of the sun that would be caused for pedestrians on the sidewalk by the elevated bikeways, the support columns, and the long access ramps that would be necessary at every intersection.

    We’re lucky that previous generations fought successfully against Moses’s insane elevated expressways that would have crossed Manhattan at 14th St. and at 42nd St., against his extension of the Prospect Expressway that would have obliterated Ocean Parkway, and against his extension of the Clearview Expressway that would have inflicted further damage on a Queens that is already terribly scarred by too many highways. The idea that we should build even one more elevated structure is madness, let alone a “network” of them for bikes.

    Dedicating space for bicycles on all existing highways is a good idea; creating an extensive new array of elevated monstrosities is most certainly not.

  • Joe R.

    If we have dedicated space for bicycles on every bit of existing grade-separated infrastructure then I’m not seeing much need to build brand-new infrastructure, except maybe for short distances to fill in the gaps. Remember in the outer boroughs especially you don’t have to go much more than a mile before you’ll hit an expressway or el or railroad. All can be leveraged for grade-separated bikeways. A ~1 mile grid of these is all you need for an effective system of bike highways. Local on-street bike lanes would provide last-mile access.

    By the way, most of the areas where I might envision needing to build new elevated infrastructure are not places where it would pose a problem. For example, if we built such a structure in the median of Queens Boulevard it would be literally 100 feet from the sidewalk, and would never cast shadows. As far as access ramps go, I put down some ideas on paper which only use 60 to 80 feet of space directly under the bikeway. And you don’t need access points at every intersection, only maybe every ten to twenty blocks. Remember these would be express routes for through travel. Shorter trips would still be made mostly at street level.

    Another possibility is going under the street. This idea seems feasible on routes where you only encounter intersections every half mile or so (i.e. expressway service roads). You have a conventional protected street level bike lane between intersections but you dive down under the intersections via a tunnel. You only need to go down about 7 or 8 feet, and only for a relatively short distance, so construction costs are minimal. Grades on the down/up ramps can be very steep because you’ll use the momentum gained going down to carry you back up on the other side (this is why underpasses work better for cyclists than overpasses). There are also no aesthetic issues with a tunnel. This idea provides 100% of the benefits of grade-separation with lower costs and no ugly elevated infrastructure.

  • Riverdale is exactly one of these ideal candidates for your sort of plan. It even has a sunken expressway (the Henry Hudson Parkway) slicing through the center of the neighborhood. It would certainly be easy to construct a bike path above it, and it wouldn’t cast shadows on the sidewalk. It might even help block some of the noise pollution coming from the highway. Nevertheless it is never even discussed for many reasons.

    For one, far more Riverdalians take the HHP than ride a bike on a daily basis. A bike path above the HHP would ruin the view for the cars. Furthermore, HHP is designated a scenic parkway, so may actually have some legal protection of these views.

    Second, it wouldn’t be that pleasant a trip for cyclists. The traffic noise is absolutely deafening, and the motorists can only stand it because they are encased in a glass and steel sound chamber. Bikes with no such protection would not be so lucky. I also think cyclists would avoid such a route due to the much higher pollution in the immediate vicinity.

    I think it is not surprising that an HHP option was not even considered for the Hudson River Greenway. It is not pleasant and would likely not get much ridership. If you can show me a single example anywhere in the world where your idea works, then I may change my mind, but until then, I think there are good reasons your idea hasn’t gone anywhere.

  • Joe R.

    Go to the Netherlands. They’re in the process of building a system of bicycle superhighways. While these aren’t grade-separated everywhere, they might be at busier junctions. Or if not, the cyclists usually have traffic signals with sensors which give them priority over motor vehicles at most junctions.

    In NYC the ideas I describe are eminently sensible because of the size of the city, plus the fact that bike travel on local streets is extremely slow, tedious, and strenuous thanks to gross overuse of traffic signals/stop signs (unless of course you ignore them as many cyclists do). I might agree that putting bike lanes above highways isn’t the best solution but the problems you mention could be mitigated by enclosing the bikeway. This also has the bonus of adding all-weather protection.

    The idea of grade-separated bikeways has been talked about in London and a few places in Asia. So far no city has built out a system but I suspect it’s only a matter of time once bike travel becomes more popular. Some Asian cities actually already have pedestrian skywalks so the idea isn’t as far-fetched as it seems. The issue is large, dense cities have a limited amount of space. As things stand now, there really isn’t any way for large numbers of pedestrians and motor vehicles to coexist at street level without extreme compromises of safety/efficiency. Adding a third mode only makes things worse. Just because you might have sidewalks, bike lanes, and motor vehicle lanes at ground level doesn’t mean things are wonderful. Manhattan provides a perfect example. Average motor vehicle speeds are something like 6 or 7 mph. Assuming cyclists and pedestrians obeyed traffic controls to the letter, their average speeds would be severely compromised as well. Suboptimal travel times, especially unpredictable travel times, have HUGE economic costs. Basically, we have a clusterf*ck of epic proportions which doesn’t work well for anyone. That’s why I feel in very dense areas each mode should be physically separated everywhere.

  • CheshireKitty

    You should forward these ideas to DeBlasio, and whoever he is going to pick to replace Janette Sadik-Khan. Maybe they will listen.

  • Mike H.

    “We’ll be lucky if there’s a cantilevered path off the HHB any time in the next 2 decades.”

    Tal, if that’s what holds this thing up, I SIMPLY PRAY THAT YOU ARE CORRECT! The most disruptive part of this project to Riverdale quality of life happens to be the stretch between the HHB and 232nd street, but especially Palisade Avenue from Kappock to 232. How in heaven’s name can a bike path be added to that beautiful but narrow countrified quarter-mile section – that can now barely accommodate north-south traffic and east-side parking – without threatening the peace and privacy of the seven west-side homeowners? Something would have to give! If it’s 6 to 8 feet of the lawn bordering the Shervier Nursing Center in a street expansion, some 3 dozen trees would be destroyed or suffer severe root damage. If it’s the parking lane, drivers would have to circle the neighborhood in the hunt for some 45 lost
    spaces. If two-way traffic is redirected one-way, well, that’s probably the least of the evils. It’s surely the simplest, but bureaucratic minds seem to shun simplicity!!

    There are, however, other issues of impact on life in the affected area of my comment, even if Palisade were twice as wide. Detail can await another discussion, but keep in mind that we have dozens of elderly people who walk on Palisade between the Villa Victoria building and 232 because it is not especially hilly. (Hills are encountered as soon as one leaves Palisade to walk east.) We have dozens of joggers and of dog walkers and even casual bicyclists. Now picture a Sunday in the spring on which a bike race or bike-a-thon is announced, when so many of these people on foot meet up with thousands of people on wheels streaming down Kappock and making that right turn onto Palisade.

  • Classic NIMBY. “Great idea, just not near me.” Do you have any better ideas? If not, you’re just a selfish and self-entitled NIMBY complaining about his loss of a parking space, the kind these types of projects see every day. Dude, the city owns your parking space, and you are not entitled to it. (BTW, I’m not sure the plan even involves taking away any of your coveted spots.) Seriously, you want to hold up a project that may benefit thousands of Riverdalians for the sake of seven (7!) homeowners?!

    Also, your fears are way overblown. There are no bike races or bike-a-thons (not even sure what that is) on the currently built sections of the Hudson River Greenway. Most of the heavy traffic is concentrated on the sections near Midtown. It is exceedingly rare to see a group of more than 2 or 3 cyclists on sections of the greenway north of the GWB, and I suspect it will be even rarer on the sections in Riverdale.

    As for the specific section you describe, the plan is just to add a sidewalk. The rest is just paint. The sidewalk is not even for the cyclists, it is for the dozens of elderly people and joggers and dog-walkers you mention. Not sure about you, but I sure as hell would rather walk on a sidewalk than in the street. And that is because of the CARS, the real menace to pedestrians in this area, not bikes.

  • Mike H.

    Pal, I hope you’re better mannered to your friends than to strangers expressing their grievances. Who the heck are you? Give a surname please, and I’ll gladly provide mine – I promise!

    Anyway, you are so off-base and presumptuous that it’s hard to know where to begin. First, re: parking I have a building space – PERIOD, END OF SENTENCE. So get your damned facts straight! As for the 7 homeowners, maybe you assume I’m one of them too (but without a garage, since I must park in the street, right? LOL!) I’m not, but that street is already too narrow for both cars and a narrow walkway in front of the 7 homes (especially the 6 upto 231 st.) THERE IS NO ROOM FOR THE SIDEWALK YOU DREAM ABOUT!! And to complete the disclaimer I began with the building parking, let me stipulate that I am not elderly and not a dog-owner either – just someone who values human safety as much as the joy of bicycling. The only safe solution is 1)to excavate the 6 – 8 feet of earth on the east side of Palisade or 2)to abolish parking or 3)to redirect the traffic one way, probably north. That’s it, amigo! I agree that option 2 is probably the least likely, but with only a modicum of common sense you might realize that option 3 is by far the most reasonable.

    If no races or bike-a-thons are ever held along the Greenway, I stand corrected. Thank you.

  • I don’t always respond as I did to you, but when someone’s grievances are phrased in such harsh terms and based on a significant misunderstanding of the facts, I react strongly. Whether or not you are literally a NIMBY in the sense of living so close to this area that it is your “backyard” (or your parking spot), your comments are typical NIMBYism. You write the project will be “disruptive to the quality of life” and “threaten[s] peace and privacy.” I think it will greatly enhance quality of life for the 99.99% of Riverdalians who don’t happen to live or park on that short stretch of Palisade. You write there is no room for a bike path, but actually it is mere sharrows which are proposed for that area (as is clear from the image in this very article), so no additional space is needed, just paint. Where space allows, a sidewalk will be added, and where space does not allow, the plan is just to add paint. Paint does not change the width of the street or take away parking. It merely alerts motorists to the potential presence of cyclists. If you really are opposed to adding simple but potentially life-saving awareness measures in the name of discouraging imagined “bike-a-thons”, then your wanton disregard for a cyclist’s life disgusts me.

  • Mike H.

    You have a habit of starting out your commentary so civilized and then descending into name calling. I hope that tone does not spill over into your home life. My “wanton disregard for a cyclist’s life” that “disgusts” you could be actionable commentary in some venues (probably not here, but certainly in some other western countries) so we’ll keep ourselves anonymous afterall. What frightens me even more than disgusts me is a street that presents a greater threat to pedestrian safety than Palisade Avenue already does with two-way traffic and no real walkway for 2/10 of a mile. Add the bikes and your cockamamy “paint” scheme and we have doubled the peril to pedestrians AND cyclists – the people whose safety you supposedly advocate for so passionately!

    I don’t need anymore dialogue with you, sir. You need to reconsider your approach to anyone whom you perceive as a threat to your beloved two-wheel “way of life”.

  • st4rchy

    I also ride the Broadway bridge sidewalk. I ride very respectfully, slowing a lot, using bright lights at night, and calling out “excuse me!” and “thank you!” to peds, and it’s not a problem. You have to have a deathwish to ride with the traffic on that bridge and the Henry Hudson will not only give you vertigo, even if you’ve never had it, but it spits you out in a weird and confusing spot. You couldn’t pay me to ride that way through Riverdale. I don’t think its residents have anything to fear.

    Also, maybe I’m seeing that graphic poorly–it’s a little fuzzy–but that’s not where the Spuyten Duyvil station is. (The graphic appears to place it on the Manhattan side of the HH bridge, in Inwood Hill Park.)


Waterfront Plan Provides Timeline for Greenway Expansions

The Randall’s Island Connector, part of the South Bronx Greenway, would run underneath an Amtrak trestle and create a new link to bike or walk between the South Bronx and Manhattan. Image: NYCEDC New York City’s greenway system will see steady growth in the next three years, according to city plans released earlier this week. […]

Henry Hudson Bridge Closed Until 2010, Unless You’re In a Car

Earlier this summer, pedestrians and cyclists in northern Manhattan and the Bronx were surprised to learn that the walkway on the Henry Hudson Bridge, which spans the Harlem River to connect Inwood Hill Park with the neighborhoods of Spuyten Duyvil and Riverdale, would be closed due to construction. For three years. In 2004, the New York Metropolitan Transportation Council […]

DOT and Ydanis Rodriguez Break Ground on Uptown Bike Lanes

Don’t underestimate the importance of this development: Today, Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez announced the groundbreaking for new bike routes linking the Hudson River Greenway to the restored High Bridge, which connects Upper Manhattan to the Bronx. The shovels-in-the-ground moment and its sibling, the ribbon-cutting-with-oversized-scissors, are irresistible to elected officials everywhere. Usually, this feeds into the political incentive […]

StreetFilms: Touring Brooklyn’s Future Waterfront Greenway

On Saturday, over 100 cyclists turned out for Brooklyn Greenway Initiative’s annual ride. For nearly a decade, they have been working with numerous community & government groups to bring a Hudson River-style recreation path from Greenpoint to Sunset Park. In the next few years, much of the 15-mile route will finally become reality. The tour […]

At Long Last, DOT Proposes Bike Lanes for Upper Manhattan

Responding to years of citizen advocacy and a resolution from Manhattan Community Board 12, DOT has proposed bike lanes for a number of streets in Upper Manhattan. Most of the lanes, concentrated in Washington Heights [PDF], would be installed next year, after a consultation with CB 12 this fall. One would be protected by parked […]