Crucial Greenway Bridge Reopens

Parks Department had initially said it would take more than a year to fix the Fort Washington Park Bike-Ped bridge over the Amtrak tracks. But it has reopened.

The bridge over the Amtrak tracks in upper Manhattan ‚ a crucial link — reopened after a months-long campaign by Streetsblog and local cyclists. Photo: Joe Cutrufo.
The bridge over the Amtrak tracks in upper Manhattan ‚ a crucial link — reopened after a months-long campaign by Streetsblog and local cyclists. Photo: Joe Cutrufo.

Streetsblog gets action!

The Parks Department has reopened the Fort Washington Park bike and pedestrian path — a crucial span connecting upper Manhattan to the rest of the West Side Greenway — ahead of schedule after a months-long campaign by Streetsblog and local cyclists.

The bridge reopened Tuesday — though the Parks Department had originally told Streetsblog’s David Meyer that it had no timeline for reconstruction. At that time, it appeared the bridge would be closed for a year or more. After that story came out, the Parks Department committed to fixing the problem on a tighter timeframe.

Here's how the bridge looked when it was abruptly closed in August. Photo: Liz Marcello
Here’s how the bridge looked when it was abruptly closed in August. Photo: Liz Marcello

Of course, the reopening was not without some controversy, as some cyclists objected to a sign demanding riders dismount.

“What’s this about?” asked TransAlt’s Joe Cutrufo.

A Parks Department official tweeted back that the dismount rule is necessary as “a safety measure” because “the width of the bridge has been reduced” as repairs continue.

“So it’s no longer a bike path then,” sniped cyclist BrianVan.

The dismount rule is frustrating, but the restored link is crucial to hundreds of cyclists who need the bridge on their commutes from upper Manhattan to lower sections of the continent’s busiest greenway. Without the bridge, cyclists were given a convoluted and hilly detour.

 

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The Battery Park City Authority (BPCA), the state agency that manages the Lower Manhattan neighborhood, has posted “cyclist dismount” signs around the North Cove Marina plaza, a key connection along the waterfront. BPCA Chief of Staff Kevin McCabe told Streetsblog that the new policy is a “proactive pedestrian safety measure” and not a response to any specific […]