Motorists Given Five Lanes of W. Side Hwy While Adjacent Hudson Greenway Blocked
The Hudson River Greenway has been blocked between 58th and 40th Streets at a time when it could provide critical transportation relief for the stricken downtown area. Before 9/11, the newly built path was one of the busiest bicycle routes in the United States and was carrying 600 plus cyclists an hour during peak periods. While the path's closure was understandable during the few hectic weeks after the attack, it is no longer necessary. The path is closed because the city chose to place the center for victims' families at Pier 94 (53rd St. to 56th St.), and erected a security checkpoint and entrance tent on top of the path. Additionally, the Mayor's Office of Emergency Management (OEM) located its command center at Pier 92 (52nd St.). Further south, where the closure makes complete sense, part of a brand new section of path stretching south of Chambers was destroyed when the towers collapsed. The southern end of the path will likely be closed for at least a year.
Given the huge importance of the path - especially now in the midst of a transportation crisis and cycling boom - T.A. has made repeated and urgent requests to both the police and DOT to either reopen the path or provide cyclists and pedestrians with the western most curb lane on the West Side Highway / Route 9A. This lane is already coned off for now very infrequent southbound emergency vehicles. According to police officials, the OEM has rejected a police request to open the path citing concerns about bike-mounted terrorists. One police official, bemused by the response, pointed out that a car-bomb on the West Side Highway / Route 9A could be detonated just a few feet from the edge of the greenway path, and questioned the logic of OEM's position. He lost the argument and for the time being so did people hoping to use the path .
Write to Mayor Giuliani and tell him how important the Hudson River Greenway path is to cyclists.
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