This year, the NYPD set up a special detour for greenway users so that during most of the event the path remained open and passable. The police barricaded off the westernmost lane of Route 9A between 43rd and 48th Streets for through bicycle and pedestrian traffic.
The NYPD deserves kudos for its much-improved planning as well as for providing a greenway detour during this year's Fleet Week. However, in the future, the police department needs to coordinate more with the Passenger Ship Terminal and Intrepid, whose security people required cyclists to dismount and walk their bikes between 42nd and 50th Streets during some off-peak periods. Additionally, the City still lacks official rules that require maintenance of bicycle access to the greenway during special events and the arrival of cruise ships. Greenways are key pieces of transportation infrastructure, and the City needs to create policies that ensure that they remain open.
This year was a welcome change from the last two years of Fleet Week, when there was no detour for through greenway traffic and the huge Fleet Week crowds closed the greenway, forcing greenway users to walk and bike head-on into traffic on Route 9A.
Write to the Department of Parks and Recreation Commissioner Adriane Benepe and tell him that the Department needs policies to ensure that greenways stay open and passable during special events.