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The Hudson River Bike Path is a convenient way for biking commuters to go up and down Manhattan’s West Side, but a lack of lighting makes one section very dangerous to ride on. NY1’s Susan Jhun filed the following report.
Manhattan's Hudson River Bike Path is a great place to go for a bike ride, but once the sun goes down it's a different story.
Steven Phillips and Sean Nagle both use the Hudson River Bike Path to commute to and from work, and comfortable as they are on their bicycles, they agree that at night riding the path through an unlit section of the Upper West Side can be very scary.
“Once it gets dark, this whole section of the greenway gets really pitch black,” said Phillips.
“You're basically enclosed in on two sides by pretty narrow fences and sometimes there's actually pedestrian traffic coming into the bike path and you really can't see a thing,” said Nagle.
Most of the path is outfitted with streetlamps to light the way, but the unlit section makes for a tough journey.
“I bike eight miles to work and eight miles back and this is the only sketchy part where it's kind of like Russian roulette, just going through this tunnel,” said Nagle.
Looking at the path from above, one can make out a very clear difference between the section of the path that has streetlamps and the section that doesn't. When a NY1 crew went down to the unlit path and turned their camera light off, they were engulfed in darkness.
With nightfall soon falling during the evening rush hour, Phillips and Nagle say accidents are bound to happen.
“A group of rollerbladers almost flattened me one night because my battery had run out on my headlight,” said Phillips. “And they came flying through this section of the greenway and they just couldn't see me.”
“I've actually seen a couple people right here hit a pedestrian pretty hard because there's no light at all,” said Nagle.
The NY1 camera crew almost had an accident when they saw the track, when an unseen cyclist zoomed right through their shot.
Nagle believes the solution is simple.
“I'd just like to see the city make a small investment using minimal investment in terms of monetary terms and put some lights here,” said Nagle.
NY1 asked the Parks Department and the Department of Transportation, which together manage the bike path, and they said they would install lighting.
Until then, bike commuters will be left in the dark.