West Side Greenway Barriers Fail First Test of Winter

Snow and ice made parts of the greenway nearly impassable during the morning rush. It appears the state DOT and Hudson River Park Trust still haven't figured out how to work around barriers put in place to keep motorists out.

Photo copyright Shmuli Evers. Used with permission.
Photo copyright Shmuli Evers. Used with permission.

Snow and ice covered much of the Hudson River Greenway this morning, rendering segments of the city’s busiest bike path nearly impassable. From the looks of things, the agencies in charge of the greenway still haven’t figured out how to work around barriers put in place to keep motorists out.

Shmuli Evers, who tweeted these photos, told Streetsblog he entered the greenway at Chambers Street at 9 a.m. He usually rides up to 34th Street but was forced to exit at 14th “because conditions were so bad.”

Evers’s pics show long stretches of the path untouched behind concrete barriers that were installed after the October truck ramming attack. In places where crews had cleared the path, snow and ice between the barriers remained.

Photo copyright Shmuli Evers. Used with permission.

In November Streetsblog asked the state DOT and the Hudson River Park Trust if there was a protocol in place to remove snow around the barriers, which are too close together to allow large equipment to pass through.

The state DOT replied with a statement that said “countermeasures” were in the works, but gave no specifics. The Hudson River Park Trust did not respond to multiple Streetsblog emails.

Given conditions on the path after today’s light snowfall, anything heavier would have been much worse for cycling. We’ve again asked the agencies that oversee the greenway about their snow clearance plan. Whatever it is, it’s not getting the job done.

Also this morning, a reader reported that the greenway access path in Riverside Park, which the Parks Department is responsible for, was iced over.

And here are condition reports on the Queensboro Bridge:

Brooklyn Bridge:

And Manhattan Bridge:

  • ItsEasyBeingGreen

    Other than a section in Battery Park City this is totally clear now through 72nd St. North of there, Riverside Park is extremely icy and slow going this evening (it was better with fresh powder this morning), and that’s a wide path accessible by trucks.

    This leads me to think that the issue is one of will and perhaps organization, not physical ability. Does the City and its associated maintenance conservancies want to enable cycling in all conditions or don’t they?

  • redbike

    Riverside Park is extremely icy and slow going this evening

    Thanks for the update. I’ve not biked the West Side pedpath north of 59th St after the recent snowfall / cold weather. Historically / chronically, the segment between 70th St and about 100th St is affected by daytime runoff from the sloped parkland that refreezes on the pedpath adjacent to the river. Sand might help, but DPR (appropriately) isn’t going to use salt on this path.

  • JK

    It’s less than 24 hours after the snowfall and credit Hudson River Park Trust, the greenway south of 60th Street is totally clear and dry — the chutes between the jersey barriers, totally clear and dry.

    In contrast, the Parks Department section between 70th Street and 100th Street, which has no jersey barriers and would be easy to clear and salt with a big plow, has many patches of rutted, uneven ice and black ice. Maybe someone can explain why HRPT can keep their section clear and Parks can’t. Whatever the excuses, Parks/Riverside Park Fund has been totally incompetent for years at clearing snow/ice on their section of the greenway, and on the various approach paths in Riverside Park. Like to know why.