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Barriers on the Hudson River Greenway

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Barriers on the Hudson River Greenway

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Old 11-04-17, 04:05 PM
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Barriers on the Hudson River Greenway

noglider's ride blog: Barriers on the Hudson River Greenway

The newly placed barriers on the Hudson River Greenway are grossly misguided and are causing problems. They will cause more problems, and they solve no problem whatsoever. It was a problem that a terrorist killed and injured so many people. Believe me, I am shaken, as I ride that path every day. But this response is not a solution. Doing nothing would have been better than this response. Some may be comforted that the city did something. It may give some the illusion of increased safety. That illusion serves no one. Doing something, anything, as long as it’s something, is not rational or humane or even intelligent. The barriers create pinch points which will cause bike-bike and bike-pedestrian collisions. I’m sure it will, and if they stay for much longer, you will see this, I promise. And they will not prevent any terrorist attacks. Those attacks rely on opportunity and surprise. The next attack will be of a completely different nature in a different kind of place precisely because surprise is a key ingredient. Therefore, creating this kind of widespread inconvenience serves no one and disserves many of us. Let’s use resources in that will combat the risk that are in proportion to the risk. That risk is very small even though the attack was so horrific. We accept that we might die of heart disease or in a car collision, but we do not want to die with many others all at once through a vile deliberate act. Yet the disgust over such a kind of death does not justify any and all costs or precautions. We need to move as freely and as quickly and as enjoyably as is reasonable. The barriers are a disproportionate and unreasonable measure.

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Old 11-04-17, 07:25 PM
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Is there anything in that median between the road and the greenway that prevents someone from driving across it?
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Old 11-04-17, 07:42 PM
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Not sure how fast the truck was going but it may be worthwhile to have a bell sound if a vehicle is traveling over a set speed on the greenway.
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Old 11-04-17, 07:58 PM
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Originally Posted by 02Giant View Post
Is there anything in that median between the road and the greenway that prevents someone from driving across it?
Not sure, but if crossed, a vehicle still cannot go far... at least in a linear fashion down the path.

But I tend to agree... this is more of a defeatist solution... meaning our open society is closing down...
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Old 11-04-17, 09:42 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
That illusion serves no one.
It serves the politicians quite well with the stupid flock that follows them.
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Old 11-05-17, 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by 02Giant View Post
Is there anything in that median between the road and the greenway that prevents someone from driving across it?
Most of the way, there is a wall, but it's not in the section that the picture captures.
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Old 11-05-17, 09:42 AM
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Your point about pinch points and leading to collisions is correct.

You are incorrect though about the effective of the barriers as they DO serve the purpose of preventing a vehicle from driving down the path.

Bad solution ?, yes, but it does the job. After the fact as is a common fix from a government agency

Hopefully the city will be installing the locked and removable 6” thick round steel posts at road access points, that can prevent vehicle access, and that can allow access when needed (ambulance ?).

As note, I read somewhere that the West Side path is on state of NY property, so the state has to implement changes, not the city.
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Old 11-05-17, 12:29 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
The newly placed barriers on the Hudson River Greenway are grossly misguided and are causing problems...
Well reasoned, concise and rational as usual...+1
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Old 11-05-17, 02:38 PM
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@noglider excellently summarizes this situation, and @Steve B. is correct: south of 59th Street on the west side of Manhattan, the park adjacent to the river is under NY State jurisdiction.

Skating onto the thin ice of “politics”, NYC’s mayor and NY State’s governor work together as smoothly as well-sanded bearings. Each has strengths and weaknesses, but they reliably bring out the worst in each other. Narrowly and on topic, both subordinate bicycling as a mode of transportation.

Worth adding though it relates to another thread on this topic: @punkinevil noted last Tuesday’s tragedy ended near a ghost bike where the pedpath crosses Chambers St. Last Tuesday, the driver entered the pedpath at Houston St. where, on the northwest corner, another ghost bike commemorates Eric Ng’s 2006 death by a drunk driver who had driven – at speed – for more than a mile on the pedpath.

I’d like to hope the Jersey barriers and large concrete cubes are temporary, but it’s no more than a hope.
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Old 11-05-17, 03:52 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
Most of the way, there is a wall, but it's not in the section that the picture captures.
Isn’t that a 24 inch curb on the access road facing motor traffic? It won’t stop some off-road vehicles, but most motor vehicles can’t get over such a curb.

It’s almost like the folks in charge of the 50’s said “You want barriers? I got your barriers right here!”

Good luck fighting the stupid. The jurisdictional nightmare makes the fight that much harder.

There is no reason that functional AND safe bollards (or other mitigations) can’t be used along the greenway.

-mr. bill

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Old 11-05-17, 04:19 PM
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Originally Posted by mr_bill View Post
There is no reason that functional AND safe bollards (or other mitigations) can’t be used along the greenway.
Unfortunately I've never seen a bollard design that is both safe to cyclists and functional at stopping motor vehicles. I've seen plenty of crashes due to the standard round post style of bollard. Fortunately most only involved minor injuries but I also know of one that caused paralysis and eventually a premature death of the cyclist.
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Old 11-05-17, 04:28 PM
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Originally Posted by prathmann View Post
Unfortunately I've never seen a bollard design that is both safe to cyclists and functional at stopping motor vehicles. I've seen plenty of crashes due to the standard round post style of bollard. Fortunately most only involved minor injuries but I also know of one that caused paralysis and eventually a premature death of the cyclist.
It’s a choice, to leave the jersey barriers, which are certain to cause injuries, or bollards, which are possibly less likely to cause an injury.

I think what’s needed is the bollards at the street crossings. The path should remain free of obstructions between the vehicle access points that cross the path.

With the jersey barriers in their diagonal blocking configuration currently, they might as well say “No Bikes” as the path is esentially useless as a Multi Use.
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Old 11-05-17, 04:54 PM
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Originally Posted by prathmann View Post
Unfortunately I've never seen a bollard design that is both safe to cyclists and functional at stopping motor vehicles. I've seen plenty of crashes due to the standard round post style of bollard. Fortunately most only involved minor injuries but I also know of one that caused paralysis and eventually a premature death of the cyclist.
I have.

Bollards on low volume low risk bike paths are a HUGE problem, since the small risks outweigh the near zero benefit.

That isn’t the case with the Greenway.

This isn’t rocket science. Listen to TransAlt. Don’t listen to spite.

-mr. bill
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Old 11-05-17, 05:01 PM
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Why can't those 3ft high concrete barriers be placed on the outer edge and running parallel to the bike lanes?

No car or suv can cross and enter and the bike lanes will be unobstructed.
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Old 11-05-17, 05:15 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
noglider's ride blog: Barriers on the Hudson River Greenway

The newly placed barriers on the Hudson River Greenway are grossly misguided and are causing problems. They will cause more problems, and they solve no problem whatsoever. It was a problem that a terrorist killed and injured so many people. Believe me, I am shaken, as I ride that path every day. But this response is not a solution. Doing nothing would have been better than this response. Some may be comforted that the city did something. It may give some the illusion of increased safety. That illusion serves no one. Doing something, anything, as long as it’s something, is not rational or humane or even intelligent. The barriers create pinch points which will cause bike-bike and bike-pedestrian collisions. I’m sure it will, and if they stay for much longer, you will see this, I promise. And they will not prevent any terrorist attacks. Those attacks rely on opportunity and surprise. The next attack will be of a completely different nature in a different kind of place precisely because surprise is a key ingredient. Therefore, creating this kind of widespread inconvenience serves no one and disserves many of us. Let’s use resources in that will combat the risk that are in proportion to the risk. That risk is very small even though the attack was so horrific. We accept that we might die of heart disease or in a car collision, but we do not want to die with many others all at once through a vile deliberate act. Yet the disgust over such a kind of death does not justify any and all costs or precautions. We need to move as freely and as quickly and as enjoyably as is reasonable. The barriers are a disproportionate and unreasonable measure.

I dont live in NY or use my bike(s)for daily transportation, but I agree completely with your post regarding the barricades and other post-event “remedies”. And as I sit here and watch today’s news breaking in small-town Texas) it reinforces for me that it’s absolutey impossible to prepare for any unforeseeable eventuality in today’s crazy world.

The next act of violent sickness will indeed be different, and its highly improbable that these barricades will do anything more than be a daily reminder of a very bad incident there. I’m sorry for those continued to be affected by that sad day, and the response to it these provide.
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Old 11-05-17, 05:22 PM
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Originally Posted by mr_bill View Post
"Unfortunately I've never seen a bollard design that is both safe to cyclists and functional at stopping motor vehicles. I've seen plenty of crashes due to the standard round post style of bollard. Fortunately most only involved minor injuries but I also know of one that caused paralysis and eventually a premature death of the cyclist."

I have.

Bollards on low volume low risk bike paths are a HUGE problem, since the small risks outweigh the near zero benefit.

That isn’t the case with the Greenway.
So please let us know this risk-free style of bollard which would not injure any bicyclists or pedestrians while stopping motor vehicles. And on what basis do you regard the Greenway as having a much better reward-to-risk ratio? Other than this intentional attack have there been other serious injuries or fatalities that any barrier would have prevented? And bollards or other barriers can't prevent intentional attack but merely move them to other more vulnerable locations.
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Old 11-05-17, 05:27 PM
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There’s Eric Ng. I’m done.

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Old 11-05-17, 05:30 PM
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@Steve B., you remind me of the people who think it's totally OK to use overly bright flashing headlights and knowing they cause pain and temporary blindness to some people. Their rationale is that it gets people's attentions. A punch in the face gets people's attentions. That doesn't make it a good idea.
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Old 11-05-17, 06:20 PM
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Originally Posted by mr_bill View Post
I have.

Bollards on low volume low risk bike paths are a HUGE problem, since the small risks outweigh the near zero benefit.

That isn’t the case with the Greenway.

This isn’t rocket science. Listen to TransAlt. Don’t listen to spite.

-mr. bill
As we have witnessed, this isn’t a low risk path. As well, it’s not low volume, it’s HUGE volume, thus the threat which the authorities are trying to address.

If I had a choice, I wouldn’t have bollards either, but if I were recommending something, I’d recommend a bollard over a jersey barrier that obstructs the path the way they have placed them.

As to Tom R, I’m not getting your point. As stated above, the state and the city feel the need to offer some protections, or at least show they are doing something. There will need to be compromises to whatever or however they choose to protect users of the path, thus an attitude of provide nothing, which I think you are stating, isn’t going to cut it.

And as a lighting designer, I’ve no clue as to how you think a blinking white light on the front of a bike causes pain and temporary blindness. That’s just so much BS. As a cyclist, I’m sold on the the value of alerting oncoming motorists to the fact that there’s a cyclist in the oncoming lane, thus will continue to use my white front blinking light, having learned that it works in preventing getting left hooked and run over by folks pulling out of parking lots, etc...
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Old 11-06-17, 10:25 AM
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Originally Posted by genec View Post
Not sure, but if crossed, a vehicle still cannot go far... at least in a linear fashion down the path.

But I tend to agree... this is more of a defeatist solution... meaning our open society is closing down...
It was never all that open, it only had the illusion of openness. Locked down totalitarian and fascist societies have these sorts of occurrences as well. There really is, as many are arguing, no way to prevent this kind of random violence. However, it must be admitted, such incidents are very, very rare, in truly open societies. More proof that the United States is not one of them.
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Old 11-06-17, 10:32 AM
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I guess there is a conflict between things that will help and the government's need to appear to be helping even when no quick action is likely to help. Fine, I accept that they need to be perceived as responding, if that's their role. My role is to oppose actions that make safety worse.

I can't make you feel the pain and blindness I experience when an excessively bright light is facing me. I guess you'll have to take my word for it. Or consider: is there no limit to brightness, or is more always better?
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Old 11-06-17, 02:58 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
I guess there is a conflict between things that will help and the government's need to appear to be helping even when no quick action is likely to help. Fine, I accept that they need to be perceived as responding, if that's their role. My role is to oppose actions that make safety worse.

I can't make you feel the pain and blindness I experience when an excessively bright light is facing me. I guess you'll have to take my word for it. Or consider: is there no limit to brightness, or is more always better?
I think we are dealing with a situation where the state and city are going to do SOMETHING, as misguided as we agree it is. It remains to be seen whether they design a better solution, I believe they understand the barriers mid block are an issue of their own.

Sorry to hear your eyes are that sensitive to the white lights cyclists use. Never heard that. Yes, some lights can be excessively bright, but as with an auto with it's high beams on, I usually just try not to stare into them.

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Old 11-06-17, 03:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Daniel4 View Post
Why can't those 3ft high concrete barriers be placed on the outer edge and running parallel to the bike lanes?

No car or suv can cross and enter and the bike lanes will be unobstructed.

Don't believe that's how the guy got on the path--by jumping the curb. There are numerous road and pedestrian crossing from the that a vehicle can use to gain access to the path. That's how he ended up hitting the school bus at Chambers Street. Take a look at the area on Google Maps.
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Old 11-06-17, 03:15 PM
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Why don't they put the barrier between the car lane and the Greenway, instead of on the Greenway?
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Old 11-06-17, 06:14 PM
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Originally Posted by vol View Post
Why don't they put the barrier between the car lane and the Greenway, instead of on the Greenway?
Tom's photo is a perfect example of just how stupid governmental employees can be. I'm one of them, so I'm reminded daily. Cuomo said JUMP, so they jumped.
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