Winter 2004, p.6

Cycling News
T.A. Wins Removal of Greenway Stop Signs

In December 2003, the State DOT installed new bicycle traffic signals and the Attorney General persuaded the Hudson River Park Trust to remove the illegal stop signs. In December 2003, the State DOT installed new bicycle traffic signals and the Attorney General persuaded the Hudson River Park Trust to remove the illegal stop signs.

Before

In December 2003, the State DOT installed new bicycle traffic signals and the Attorney General persuaded the Hudson River Park Trust to remove the illegal stop signs.

In December 2003, the State DOT installed new bicycle traffic signals and the Attorney General persuaded the Hudson River Park Trust to remove the illegal stop signs.

After

At the end of December 2003, the Hudson River Park Trust had removed all but one of the stop signs on the Hudson River Greenway from Battery Park to 59th Street as part of an out-of-court settlement between T.A. and the State Attorney Generalís Office. The Hudson River Park Trust and the New York State Department of Transportation replaced the signs with new bicycle traffic signals alongside the path. For two years prior to filing suit, T.A. persistently urged the State DOT to remove the signs because they violated signage laws and were dangerous to passing cyclists. But agency officials said that they did not have jurisdiction and that the signs belonged to the Hudson River Park Trust, a city-state public authority. Finally, the attorney general, acting on behalf of the State DOT, was able to persuade the Hudson River Park Trust to remove the signs.

The Trustís stop signs were a well intended but misguided attempt to reduce conflict between cyclists and motorists turning across the greenway. But the signs, which were positioned at head height, contradicted green traffic signals, caused crashes, blocked sight lines, were easily moved and confused both greenway users and motorists. The signs violated the requirements of the State Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices because they conflicted with traffic lights located at the same intersections, were placed in the center of the path and were not permanently mounted. The one remaining stop sign, at 22nd Street, is there because it is at an unsignalized intersection with four-way stop signs for greenway and motorized traffic.
The real solution to ending conflicts between turning motorists and greenway users is to install raised intersections at driveways. To its credit, the State DOT has done this at the Houston Street crossing; the agency should replicate the design along the path.

Take Action!

Write and ask the State Department of Transportation to construct raised crossings at every Hudson River Greenway path crossing.
Douglas Currey
Director NYS DOT Region 11
47-40 21st Street
Long Island City, NY 11101

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