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