Winter Is Coming and No One Knows How the Hudson River Greenway Will Get Plowed

The state DOT and the Hudson River Park Trust did not respond to queries about how new protective barriers would affect snow and ice removal.

Greenway users need to know there’s a plan for keeping greenway security zones clear of ice and snow. Photo copyright Shmuli Evers, used with permission.
Greenway users need to know there’s a plan for keeping greenway security zones clear of ice and snow. Photo copyright Shmuli Evers, used with permission.

It took a week for the agencies responsible for the Hudson River Greenway to orient new security barriers into a configuration that lets bike and pedestrian traffic flow semi-comfortably. With temperatures dropping into the 30s just about every night, there’s not much time to figure out a plan to keep the path clear of snow and ice with these obstacles in place. But if the greenway managers know how they’ll handle a snowstorm, they aren’t telling the public.

In response to last month’s homicidal truck ramming attack, the state DOT and NYPD set up concrete cubes and jersey barriers at greenway entrances to block motorists from the path. The initial installation created hazardous pinch points, then after several days the barriers were adjusted to better accommodate walking and biking.

The barriers are supposed to be temporary, but there’s no indication that a permanent solution is imminent. And that could pose a problem during snowy weather.

The Hudson River Park Trust typically does a good job clearing snow off the path, but the vehicles are too wide to fit between the new barriers. If all that concrete stays in place over the winter, greenway managers will need some combination of new snow removal vehicles and a small army of people with shovels to prevent the path from freezing over.

Streetsblog asked the Hudson River Park Trust and state DOT, which put down the jersey barriers, how the new security measures will affect snow removal, and if a protocol is in place for keeping the greenway clear. Multiple queries to both agencies went unanswered.

The Hudson River Greenway is the most heavily traveled bikeway in New York City. The people in charge of maintaining it need to let the public know they’re prepared to keep it passable through winter.

Update: The state DOT sent us this statement:

DOT is working cooperatively with New York City and the HRPT to develop countermeasures that are respectful to the community and sensitive to the recreational users of this year-round shared use facility.

Photo copyright Shmuli Evers, used with permission.
Photo copyright Shmuli Evers, used with permission.

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