Fall 2003, p.4

Cycling News
Mayor Opens Interim Manhattan Waterfront Greenway

Mayor Bloomberg, students from PS5 and City and State VIPs cut the ribbon on the Manhattan Waterfront Greenway. The City will not complete the interim greenway for at least another ten years. Meanwhile, the City deserves praise for its use of innovative designs that make it easier and safer to use the greenway.
On September 30th, Mayor Bloomberg and a platform full of State and City VIPs cut the ribbon and officially opened the interim Manhattan Waterfront Greenway. Mayor Bloomberg emphatically used the word "interim" to describe the new route saying that, "much work remains to be done" before an off-street path is built completely around the island. Indeed, it will be ten years before the City completes reconstruction of the Harlem Rive Bridges and the greenway constructed on the three-mile stretch beneath them. It may take even longer to create sections of the path near the United Nations and elsewhere on the East Side.

Still, with innovative designs, three miles of new car-free paths and eight new bike lanes, the 32-mile route around Manhattan improves public access to the waterfront and increases opportunities to explore the city by bicycle. New path markings and signage in many locations also help everyday cyclists navigate crowded and confusing conditions.

The City is using innovative designs that are new to New York City to increase bicyclist safety and convenience and connect short gaps in the route throughout the interim greenway route. City Hall's oversight of the creation of the Manhattan Waterfront Greenway gave City and State bicycle planners the support they needed to implement these designs. The new greenway route is a boon to everyday cyclists, but it still needs improvements to make average New Yorkers, who generally bike a few times a year, feel comfortable and in the right place.


Reporters See Greenway Reality 

The City's completion of the Manhattan Waterfront Greenway in August and the Mayor's ribbon cutting ceremony in September piqued the interest of the New York City press. A number of reporters from city newspapers and magazines hopped on their bicycles to check out the interim greenway route. They later reported that they delighted in the off-street sections of the greenway route but lamented riding in traffic, missing turns and weaving through crowds of pedestrians. The City should take a hint from the ink-stained wretches and install more signs and bike lanes to integrate the greenway with the rest of the city's bicycle network of bike lanes and bridge paths. In particular, it needs to install more signs on Dyckman Street, First and Second Avenues and at the East River bridges, which are all less than five minutes away from the new greenway by bike.

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