Summer 2002, p.13

State DOT NYC Office To Make Big Safety Improvements on Hudson Greenway

Roger weld, head of the non-motorized program at the Region 11 (NYC) office of the NY State DOT has begun redesigning eight dangerous intersections along the Hudson River Greenway to improve conditions for cyclists and pedestrians. Backed by the SDOT NYC boss Doug Currey, Weld and his group are reshaping the path to ensure that cyclists and pedestrians clearly have the right of way crossing the greenway.

Earlier this year, T.A. voiced concerns to the SDOT about the danger posed by motor vehicles crossing the greenway path. The SDOT took careful note of our concerns and conducted its own site visits. Based on this research, it closed four motor vehicle crossings on the path between 46th and 57th Streets. Now Weld and team are working on improving seven other dangerous intersections. The SDOT's action carries the important implication that the agency is actively putting pedestrian and cycling safety before the flow of motor vehicle traffic.

Looking forward, T.A. advises the SDOT to redesign the section of the path adjacent to the NYC Sanitation lot on Pier 99 at 59th Street as part of its improvements. The drainage there is very poor, frequently creating dangerous conditions.

And, though T.A. applauds the SDOT's improvement plan, we are disturbed by the Non-Motorized Group's continued refusal to remove the horrendous and illegal stop signs obstructing the greenway. There is simply no excuse for letting these dangerous, counter-productive items remain.

Write to Region 11 Director Doug Currey and thank the SDOT for taking a direct and inclusive approach to making the path safer for cyclists and pedestrians. Remind him to fix the poor drainage at 59th Street and remove the illegal stop signs on the Hudson River Greenway.

Doug Currey
Director, NYS DOT Region 11
Hunters Point Plaza
47-20 21st Street
Long Island City, NY 11101

ABOVE: The raised pathway at Houston St., which slows cars turning across the path. RIGHT: Eight intersections on the Hudson River Greenway will be redesigned to give cyclists and pedestrians priority.  

The SDOT Piggybacks Improvements onto High Voltage Cable Project

The State DOT is taking advantage of an upcoming NJ power company construction project to reconstruct dangerous segments of the greenway near the Passenger Ship Terminal. The company is tearing up portions of Route 9A and the Hudson River Greenway to connect a generating station in Ridgefield, New Jersey with a ConEd substation on West 49th Street. The greenway will remain open throughout the construction. In exchange for disrupting the traveling public, the company will build SDOT's redesigns. After the company project is finished, the path near the Passenger Ship Terminal will be reconstructed to have smoother transitions to the segments to the north and south. The walkways and bikeways will be wider and have improved signage. The ugly chainlink fence surrounding the Passenger Ship Terminal will be replaced with a permanent iron fence.

State DOT's Citywide Bike Effort

The SDOT owns the highways in NYC, but traditionally has had nothing to do with bicyclists and pedestrians. However, since the creation of its four member, NYC Non-Motorized Group in 2000, the agency has taken the initiative to routinely incorporate bicyclists and pedestrians into its work. Thanks to Region 11 Director Doug Currey and his predecessor Richard Maitino for setting the SDOT on the right path. Following are Region 11's Non-Motorized projects:

  • The Bronx River Greenway, from Westchester to Sound View Park, will be built as part of the Bronx River Parkway highway project. The seven-mile long multi-use path will pass four MetroNorth Railroad stations, the New York Botanical Garden and the Bronx Zoo. Construction is slated to start in 2005.
  • The Jamaica Bay Greenway will be a 28-mile loop around the Gateway National Recreation Area in Brooklyn and Queens. The SDOT will build new greenway segments around JFK Airport, through Nassau Country and the Rockaways and connect them with the existing Shore Parkway Greenway. Current proposals set the construction date to 2005.
    The Hudson River Greenway between The Battery and 59th Street in Manhattan was built by SDOT. The agency has kept a close eye on the path and will be doing extensive improvements on it over the next three years.
  • The SDOT continues to move T.A.'s Ride-And-Ride bike parking at transit model in Staten Island forward, pursuing covered bike racks at suburban rail and bike parking at express bus stops.

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