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Security Theater Continues to Squeeze West Side Greenway

Bulky jersey barriers remain strewn across the Hudson River Greenway at dangerous angles, three days after state DOT said they would be straightened out. Photo copyright Shmuli Evers, used with permission.

After New York State DOT dropped long concrete barriers at 31 crossings on the Hudson River Greenway in response to last week's truck ramming attack, Mayor de Blasio said the placement needed to change so "people can still ride their bikes." The state DOT promised on Friday to straighten out the barriers to make more room for people using the greenway, but dangerous pinch points remain.

In some locations, state DOT has moved the orange construction barrels and painted the ends of barriers orange to make them visible. These jersey barriers are still straddling the greenway at awkward angles, however, as you can see in these photographs by Shmuli Evers taken this morning.

The barriers narrow the asphalt to as little as three feet wide in some locations. That's not much for people biking single-file, let alone all the passing movements and two-way traffic on Hudson River Greenway. Hilda Cohen has the tale of the tape:

This is busiest #bikenyc path in city, if not country. 3’ is absolute min, and doesn’t meet this. pic.twitter.com/Fc4eZCuRUT

— November Hilda (@HildaBikes) November 6, 2017

At 26 other greenway crossings, NYPD put in concrete cubes to block motor vehicle access. While the cubes still narrow the greenway more than bollards, they aren't placed at strange angles, and people biking on the path report that they're much less obtrusive than the jersey barriers. Some but not all of the state DOT's jersey barriers have been replaced with concrete cubes, Evers said.

NYPD installed concrete cubes at 26 pedestrian crossing along the greenway, including here at Houston Street. Photo: Mark Gorton
NYPD installed concrete cubes at 26 pedestrian crossing along the greenway, including here at Houston Street. Photo: Mark Gorton
NYPD installed concrete cubes at 26 pedestrian crossing along the greenway, including here at Houston Street. Photo: Mark Gorton

Replacing the remaining jersey barriers with cubes could be a simple short-term fix that makes the greenway tolerable while permanent measures are developed.

Streetsblog asked state DOT whether any progress has been made toward a long-term solution and for more detail on what steps have been taken since Thursday to address the hazards created by the jersey barriers. The agency has yet to respond.

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