Hudson River Greenway is Back
After September 11th, the New York City Office of Emergency Management (OEM) closed the Hudson River Greenway path between 44th and 57th Streets because of security concerns. Earlier this year, the OEM restored full access to the path after 800 people e-mailed its Director, Richard J. Sheirer, following a T.A. e-Bulletin call to action.
The Greenway is no longer blocked off between 44th and 57th Streets, but there is considerable debris throughout the thirteen block section, making passage a bit tight in places. T.A. has asked the OEM to restore the Greenway to the passable state that is was in before September 11th by removing the dirt piles, lighting generators and concrete barriers still on the path. T.A. is also urging the OEM, NYPD, City and State DOTs and the Parks Department to adopt a policy that clearly states that the greenways and bicycle and pedestrian bridge paths around New York City must remain open and passable during emergencies. Contrary to the belief of some officials, greenways are not unused real estate waiting to be appropriated according to their whim. They are priority paths for cyclists and pedestrians.
Unfortunately, the stop signs that the Hudson River Park Trust placed along the path south of 44th Street remain. Instead of creating a safe cycling and walking environment, these stop signs make the Greenway dangerous. They confuse path users and motorists alike and should be removed immediately; path users ignore them and turning motor vehicles assume the right of way when crossing the path - a dangerous situation.
The authoritative "Guide for the Development of Bicycle Facilities," published by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials states that "assigning incorrect priority or being overly restrictive in an attempt to protect the path user can lead to confusion … increasing the potential for a collision" (50; 1999).