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Cyclists Jockey With Traffic in NYC’s Annual Fleet Week Greenway Debacle

As expected, the city has severed the Hudson River Greenway as a bike transportation route for Fleet Week.

The greenway is the perhaps the most heavily traveled bikeway in the United States. Yet unceremonious disruptions have become an annual tradition during Fleet Week.

Rather than temporarily claiming a lane from motor vehicles on 12th Avenue in the 40s, the agencies responsible for greenway have again set up a dismount zone. Many people are opting to ride on 12th Avenue instead of walking their bikes.

On Thursday evening, @Fresh_Kermit posted these photos of people on bikes mixing it up with motor vehicle traffic:

#visionzero cycling on 12th Avenue during #fleetweek in Bill de Blasio's New York. Hudson River Greenway closed. pic.twitter.com/Lb0AJMn0O1

— ItsEasyBeingGreen (@Fresh_Kermit) May 24, 2018

Greenway managers can't even be bothered to notify the public ahead of time. We found no announcements of any kind from the Hudson River Park Trust, the Parks Department, or NYPD warning about the closure.

When we reached out to Parks concerning Fleet Week plans earlier this week, staff referred us to the Hudson River Park Trust, which manages the greenway below 59th Street. We asked HRPT earlier today for details on the current greenway interruption, but have yet to receive a response.

It makes sense to divert bike traffic to make way for Fleet Week crowds, but sending people on bikes out into 12th Avenue traffic just trades one hazard for another. And at one point the city had this figured out.

In 2003 NYPD set up barricades to reserve the westernmost lane of 12th Avenue, between 43rd and 48th streets, for biking and walking during Fleet Week. There are a lot more people biking in NYC now than there were 15 years ago, but year after year the city fails to accommodate greenway users during an event that everyone knows is coming.

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