State DOT Straightens Jersey Barriers So They Don’t Completely Ruin Hudson River Greenway

Several days after dropping long concrete barriers at dangerous angles across the Hudson River Greenway, New York State DOT is finally straightening them out to run parallel with the bike path.

State DOT contractors re-orienting concrete jersey barriers on the Hudson River Greenway on Monday. Photo copyright Shmuli Evers, used with permission.
State DOT contractors re-orienting concrete jersey barriers on the Hudson River Greenway on Monday. Photo copyright Shmuli Evers, used with permission.

Several days after dropping long concrete barriers at dangerous angles across the Hudson River Greenway, New York State DOT is finally straightening them out to run parallel with the bike path.

Installed at 31 greenway access points on Thursday after last week’s deadly truck ramming attack, the barriers were initially placed at angles that obstructed much of the greenway, creating pinch points and conditions ripe for head-on collisions on a path used by thousands of people each day.

On Friday, after the initial blowback from greenway users, state DOT told the Daily News’ Dan Rivoli it would re-orient the barriers to allow for smoother travel. The agency made some changes over the weekend, but on Monday the barriers were still straddling the greenway at awkward angles.

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.
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.

Streetsblog reached out to state DOT for an update Monday morning, but did not hear back until after 5 p.m.

“DOT is ensuring the placement of the barriers works for pedestrians and cyclists while still securing the path, and we will continue to partner with all stakeholders and the community to develop smart, permanent solutions for enhanced security,” agency spokesperson Joseph Morrissey said.

Signs of progress started appearing Monday and Tuesday.

If we’re going to use jersey barriers to keep cars off the greenway, this orientation is a big improvement and probably the best that can be done. But the agencies responsible for the greenway can’t leave this in place for long. Especially during peak season, there are too many people biking, skating, jogging, and walking on the greenway to cram through these 20-foot-long cattle chutes.

The Hudson River Greenway is an important piece of transportation infrastructure — the most-used bike path in the city — and it needs more space. The state and city have said they’re exploring a long-term solution. They need to do a better job of talking to people who use the greenway than they did during this process, and they need to make progress soon.

Much better. Photo: Shmuli Evers
Better, but not a long-term solution. Photo: Shmuli Evers
  • Rider

    They need to fix this soon because the minute it snows even a little bit, the greenway will become unusable. It’s always a struggle to get paths like this plowed, and these pinch points will make it impossible given the equipment available. If we have to wait for people to shovel each place there’s a barrier, we’ll be waiting a long time.

  • KeNYC2030

    Word of the dangerous conditions on the Greenway reached Albany by stagecoach on Monday, at which point an official was ordered to look up the words “bicycle” and “bike path” in an unabridged dictionary.

  • Vooch

    They used Joe Rs suggestion.

    Well Done Joe R.

  • JTP Choons

    It’s good that they’re fixing them. But the fact that they were installed at an angle in the first place seems to suggest a general issue of poor decision making in the department.

  • Joe R.

    I wonder if they actually read my suggestion and used it, or if someone with common sense came up with the same idea as me independently. Either way, I’m glad they fixed it.

  • DumpsterFire

    You’re implying that they can actually think about the actions they take. I agree, the first snow will make the bike path useless. It really boggles the mind how incompetent humans can be.

  • Rider

    I’m implying no such thing. They did something and gave it about zero minutes of thought. Now it’s our job to get them to fix this mess.

  • Elizabeth F

    The current setup requires about 3X as many Jersey barriers as the original. Installing them on short notice requires that work crews be moved away from other projects. Is it possible that DOT is following a phased strategy here?

    1. Throw down some Jersey barriers in “emergency mode” to protect the Greenway

    2. Start scheduling crews to do it right

    But they’re clearly not done: all these barriers have flashing battery-powered lights on them. Does the DOT have a plan to maintain those batteries? Or do they see the current setup as temporary? I think the latter.

    On my way home, I noted no shortage of real honest-to-goodness bollards all over NYC, used to protect bike paths from cars. For example, the Greenway, from 125 St north. Or the bike path along Bronx Blvd (along the Bronx River, northern Bronx). Or the sidewalk in front of Yankee Stadium parking garage. The real question here is, why did they NOT use bollards south of 59 St?

  • BortLicensePlatez

    You really are treating the robotic fools at the DOT as reasonable people? Look at the bullshit boilerplate “stakeholder” language and you can see its not about the people and the citizens of the city, its about unbearable protocols developed by some Cuomo/de Blasio crony. Sickening, and not unlike all the politicians tweeting about thoughts and prayers while they pocket gun maker money.

  • Elizabeth F

    No, not at all like “thoughts and prayers.” Ten days ago, a terrorist killed 8 people with a truck. Just ten days later, we have a fully protected bike path. On the other hand… when someone with a gun kills >50 in Vegas, or 26 in Texas… nobody does anything. It’s all just thoughts and prayers. Compare to the response to the Newton, CT shooting — which resulted in tightened gun laws that ultimately pissed off the gun manufacturers, who all left the state.

  • JK

    This is a really important point. HRPT has done a great job of plowing South of 60th Street, which they did with a big front loader. That vehicle will not fit through these Jersey barriers. If it isn’t plowed, even an inch of snow can turn the path into a sheet of ice for weeks. (As NYC Parks has proven time and again with their erratic plowing on the path Uptown.) Basically, the Hudson Greenway could be out of commission for months if it snows just a bit more regularly than it did last year. I hope Transportation Alternatives is talking to SDOT about this.

  • Elizabeth F

    Or it suggests that they were installed in haste. The calculation might have been: is it better to install something NOW, or to wait a week before getting effective protection?

  • Elizabeth F

    There are all sorts of maintenance vehicles they can’t get on the Greenway now. I think the Jersey barriers are temporary.

  • redbike

    > the Greenway, from 125 St north. Or the bike path along Bronx Blvd (along the
    > Bronx River, northern Bronx). Or the sidewalk in front of Yankee Stadium parking
    > garage. The real question here is, why did they NOT use bollards south of 59 St?

    Your comparisons aren’t “apples to apples”. South of 59th St, jurisdiction is NY State, not NYC.

    But as others have noted, NYC’s bollards-on-pedpaths implementation is flawed: when a bollard is removed, it’s typically abandoned on the ground at the edge of the path leaving behind the 2″ steel collar surrounding the empty socket. This 2″ collar is waiting to maim or kill the unwary.

    I’m not saying bollards shouldn’t be implemented where they make sense (e.g.:bordering vulnerable sidewalks), but pedpaths aren’t one of those instances.

  • Guy Ross

    They didn’t plunk them down parallel to travel due to ‘haste’? You’re not really proposing this as a serious possibility, are you?

  • qrt145

    They dropped them from helicopters and they fell in random orientations. 🙂

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