We, as residents of, or travelers through, the neighborhoods of Inwood and Washington Heights, envision a neighborhood where people of all ages, abilities and income-levels can safely bike to work, where parents can feel comfortable allowing their children to bike to school, where everyone can breathe clean air, and where we all have realistic alternatives to automobile transportation.
The Manhattan Waterfront Greenway, which is readily accessible to the residents of lower Manhattan, is incomplete and inaccessible to many of our residents. The Greenway on the Westside ends at Dyckman St., and is inaccessible to wheeled vehicles north of 130th St., except for limited access at the 183rd St. overpass and only via stairs at 155th St., 168th St. and Dyckman St. The Eastside Greenway, between the East River and the Harlem River Drive, ends at Dyckman St., and is generally inaccessible by bike, except for access at Dyckman St. There is no safe bike and pedestrian access over the Amtrak Bridge or the High Bridge, dismounting is required on the Henry Hudson and Broadway Bridge, and the only access to the George Washington Bridge is circuitous and steep.
Our cross streets and avenues are congested with automobile traffic and parked vehicles, and unlike the improvements made and planned for lower Manhattan, we have no safe Class One (barriers) or Class Two (buffered) protected bike lanes on our neighborhood cross streets and avenues.
As a result, biking and walking is impeded and unsafe not only for our neighborhood residents, but for all Manhattan residents and visitors who wish to bike or walk around the northern tip of Manhattan, or travel to, or from, New Jersey, Riverdale, the Bronx and beyond.
We therefor sign the attached Petition to urge Community Board 12 to request that the New York City Parks Department and Department of Transportation extend the Greenways and New York City's network of protected bike and pedestrian lanes into Washington Heights and Inwood.
THEREFORE, WE, THE UNDERSIGNED, HEREBY PETITION Community Board 12 to urge the New York City Parks Department and Department of Transportation to extend the Greenways and New York City's network of protected bike and pedestrian lanes into Washington Heights and Inwood, specifically, to:
1. Connect the West and Eastside Greenways by constructing a Class One protected bike lane with planted barriers along Dyckman St., and ramping the stairs from Riverside Drive to the northern end of the Westside bike path; and by constructing Class Two (green painted buffered) bike lanes on cross streets in the proximity of 155th St., 165th St., and 181st St;
2. Extend the Westside Greenway bike and pedestrian path along the banks of the Hudson River from the Little Red Lighthouse under the George Washington Bridge continuously to the northern tip of Manhattan, over the unused portion of the Amtrak Bridge, and/or over widened paths on the Henry Hudson Bridge;
3. Extend the current Croton Aqueduct Trail bike and pedestrian path in High Bridge Park, so that it runs continuously from 155th St. to Dyckman St., and over the High Bridge to the Bronx;
4. Construct a more direct protected bike and pedestrian path incorporating a gentler rise to the George Washington Bridge from the Westside Greenway bike path to the South side of the George Washington Bridge, e.g., via the Amtrak pedestrian overpass at 170th St.;
5. Upgrade the existing unprotected Class Three bike lanes (white painted lanes) to Class One (barriers) or Class Two (painted buffers), along St. Nicholas, Broadway, Bennett, Fort Washington, Riverside, and Seaman Avenues from 155th St. to the Broadway Bridge, or, where the width of the Avenues do not permit a full class upgrade, paint the bike lanes solid green and connect them where they are discontinuous.