Parks Department Closes Off Car-Free High Bridge With No Explanation [Updated]

The High Bridge, which links the Bronx to Upper Manhattan, is another piece of bike transportation infrastructure that the Parks Department treats like a recreational facility.

Photo: Bike Snob
Photo: Bike Snob

The Parks Department has shut entry to the High Bridge, cutting off a key biking and walking link between the Bronx and Upper Manhattan.

[Update: As of 4:00 p.m. Tuesday, the Parks Department says the High Bridge is open. A department spokesperson said the bridge, which must be cleared of snow and ice by hand, was closed due to a “communication error.”]

Eben Weiss, a.k.a. Bike Snob, tweeted a photo of the bridge entrance blocked by a gate late this morning. There was no notice of the closure from the Parks Department Twitter account.

Like the Hudson River Greenway, the High Bridge is a piece of transportation infrastructure that the Parks Department treats like a recreational facility.

The High Bridge connects Washington Heights and the Highbridge neighborhood in the Bronx. It was reopened to the public in 2015 after sitting idle for 45 years, thanks to a years-long restoration project initiated by the Bloomberg administration.

Despite demand for 24/7 access, the Parks Department only allows people to use it from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., with unspecified seasonal adjustments. When the bridge was reopened three years ago, Parks officials left open the possibility of expanding access, but that hasn’t happened.

Streetsblog has asked Parks why and when the bridge was closed and when it will be reopened. TransAlt Bronx Organizer Erwin Figueroa posed the question on Twitter. We’ll update this post as soon as we receive a response.

  • AnoNYC

    So frustrating.

  • Vooch

    and good to see that advocacy opened the bridge

  • AMH

    Thanks for shining a light on this. The High Bridge makes a world of difference, and the Washington Bridge is not a convenient detour.

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

The Case for 24/7 Access to the High Bridge

|
Video of opening day on the High Bridge: Clarence Eckerson. New York City’s bike network would be a shell of its current self without the segments that run through parks. The most heavily traveled bike route in the city — the Hudson River Greenway — is in a park. Paths in Central Park, Prospect Park, and other public […]

DOT and Ydanis Rodriguez Break Ground on Uptown Bike Lanes

|
Don’t underestimate the importance of this development: Today, Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez announced the groundbreaking for new bike routes linking the Hudson River Greenway to the restored High Bridge, which connects Upper Manhattan to the Bronx. The shovels-in-the-ground moment and its sibling, the ribbon-cutting-with-oversized-scissors, are irresistible to elected officials everywhere. Usually, this feeds into the political incentive […]

Will the Revitalized High Bridge be Bike-Friendly?

|
This is a guest post by Susan Murray, author of the Urban Naturalist. The High Bridge, a graceful stone and steel bridge, reminiscent of the great Roman aqueducts, spans the Harlem River between parks in Washington Heights and the Highbridge neighborhood in the Bronx. Erected in 1848, decades before the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges, it […]