Spring 2004, p.6

Improvements Coming to the Hudson River Greenway
State DOT to Improve Twelve Intersections Between Houston and 59th Streets

Over the next year, the State DOT will build raised crossings—like this one at West Houston Street— at six intersections on the Hudson River Greenway.

Between the Fall of 2004 and the summer of 2005, the New York State Department of Transportation will spend $6.5 million improving cyclist and pedestrian safety on the Hudson River Greenway between West Houston and 59th Streets in Manhattan. The agency’s planned greenway improvements include six raised intersections, which will slow motorists as they cross the greenway. T.A. has been urging the State DOT to make safety improvements since the agency opened the path. Fortunately, the agency has been listening.

The State DOT based many of its planned greenway intersection improvements on the success of the speed table it installed on the greenway at West Houston Street in Spring 2002. The State DOT will build similar raised intersections at Gansevoort, Bloomfield, 15th, 46th and 59th Streets and the Chelsea Piers’ Service Road. The agency will also reduce the size of the 24th Street intersection and redesign it to slow turning motorists.

The State DOT is also redesigning the sanitation garage entrance and exit at Pier 53 (between Gansevoort and Bloomfield Streets). The agency will install a turn lane to allow garbage trucks to enter and exit the garage and yield to path users without blocking motorized traffic or the greenway.

The State DOT plans to widen the path next to the former MTA bus depot (14th to 16th Streets), the USS Intrepid and Passenger Ship Terminal (45th to 48th Streets) and the Department of Sanitation facility (57th to 59th Streets).

Finally, the State DOT will update the greenway’s signs and markings to clarify the bicycling-only and walking-only paths; the sections shared by bikers, walkers and skaters; and where it is safe and not safe to pass. Currently, the path's pedestrian and skater markings are easily confused; the State DOT should add the task of clarifying these symbols to its sign and marking update. The agency should also put up large signs near the Passenger Ship Terminal, where many out-of-town visitors loiter on the path, unaware that they are creating dangerous conditions on the busiest greenway in the United States.

Unfortunately, the State DOT has no plans to improve path use safety at the New York Waterways and Circle Line ferry driveways between 41st and 44th Streets; at these intersections, bus drivers routinely cut off and endanger greenway users. The State DOT should redesign these intersections.

In June, the T.A. E-Bulletin will announce the date of the State DOT's first public workshop. Kudos to the State DOT for welcoming the public to share ideas and comments about improving the Hudson River Greenway and other greenways.
Sign up for the T.A. E-Bulletin at www.transalt.org/e-bulletin.

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