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East River Blueway (to be) vs. Hudson River Greenway

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East River Blueway (to be) vs. Hudson River Greenway

Old 06-25-16, 09:41 PM
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vol
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East River Blueway (to be) vs. Hudson River Greenway

While the Hudson Greenway is definitely preferable for smooth riding (continuous smooth road surface), I really prefer the scenic East River bike path. The Hudson Greenway for the most part is not directly adjacent to the river. Riding there is like riding a static bike in a gym, or riding on a track. I think I mentioned this once long ago. It's so boring esp. if you've ridden there many times (I know exactly when to start holding my breath and speed up when approaching the Sanitation trucks). Mostly you just see the fellow cyclists coming and going, as if everyone is rush going somewhere. Plus the lack of shade in hot summer...

The bike path along the East River has very lousy road surface in some parts and it's broken here and there, but it's right by the river, a real enjoyment to ride, and has a lot of cool shade near the Brooklyn Bridge area. Today I rode there for the first time since many months ago and found a lot of new stuffs (tourist attraction I guess) between the bridges and South Ferry, some exercise machines, a lot of benches facing the river (maybe they've been there for some time now it's new to me). The only thing is it's too crowded with pedestrians during weekend in good weather.

There is a "East River Blueway" project supposedly going on. I very much hope the road surface gets great improvement. Wonder if it will take as long as a decade?
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Old 07-05-16, 05:54 PM
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I guess I still don't understand why you think the Hudson Greenway isn't by the river. Except for a few portions it is either directly adjacent or up above as it is past the GWB going north. Either way you have river views. Only that one section between 59th and 72nd has a hidden view and usually I just take that stretch as an excuse to hammer.

I ride the East River to work sometimes when I don't want to ride on 1st Ave, and it is OK, but I don't go out of my way for it.
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Old 07-09-16, 01:07 AM
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From the 70th to Battery Park City the river is mostly blocked from the view by trees or buildings. One can only see the river from afar (and by turning one's head). In the past when there were Manhattan Island Swims I couldn't see the swimmers at all from the bike path. There are pedestrian's esplanades next to the river, in much better position. It feels very monotonic riding there with a very narrow view. Seems I'm the only one feeling so. Above the 70s the path is adjacent to the river.
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Old 07-09-16, 11:27 AM
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You can't see the forest for the trees, literally.
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Old 07-11-16, 01:23 PM
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For me it depends on a few factors. Where is my start and end point? If I'm already by mid town east side and I have to go over the Willy B bridge; I'm not going to bother to go to the Hudson Greenway. Then there's the fact that the East river greenway is missing sections from the 30' to the 50's.

The sun feels nice on cold days; plus easier to see potholes/bumps by the Hudson path
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Old 07-11-16, 02:45 PM
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Originally Posted by 1nterceptor View Post
For me it depends on a few factors. Where is my start and end point? If I'm already by mid town east side and I have to go over the Willy B bridge; I'm not going to bother to go to the Hudson Greenway. Then there's the fact that the East river greenway is missing sections from the 30' to the 50's.

The sun feels nice on cold days; plus easier to see potholes/bumps by the Hudson path
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aJA9...6zPoymgKaIoDLA
That looks like way up in the 100's on the Hudson Greenway? I like it being closer to the river, though wouldn't ride there after dark. It's hard to tell where you are without any signs.

Next time shoot your ride along the East River waterfront and post the scenary here for comparison .
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Old 07-11-16, 07:46 PM
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I rode the west side yesterday and was noticing that I CAN see the river almost the entire length, with a few exceptions. Chelsea piers blocks the view for a long stretch, and the cruise terminal blocks it some, but the cruise terminal is part of the river life. Chelsea piers less so as that could be anywhere.
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Old 07-12-16, 03:20 PM
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Originally Posted by vol View Post
That looks like way up in the 100's on the Hudson Greenway? I like it being closer to the river, though wouldn't ride there after dark. It's hard to tell where you are without any signs.

Next time shoot your ride along the East River waterfront and post the scenary here for comparison .
By the Little Red Lighthouse; under the GW bridge. So around 170's/180's. I used to work nights(4pm-11pm) and rode there a lot trying to catch the 12am closing of the GW bridge.

Yes definitely; will try to get some footage next time I'm by the east side path.
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Old 05-28-18, 06:10 PM
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Today I circled half Manhattan along the rivers and found quite a few new development since I did it last year. On Hudson Greenway between 59th and 70ish the bumpy "speed bump" parts made of stones/bricks where pedestrians would cross are replaced by smooth surface with lighter color. That's a pleasant surprise. More bike paths in and around the Battery Park, though a bit confusing as sometimes you can't tell where a path leads to. Remember the East River bike path stopped at 34th street north-bound? It'still does; however, there seems to be a promenade under construction from 34th to around 40th st. near the UN, so one can ride a few blocks further from the 34th before reaching a dead end, where there is a large space with park benches with a fat English bulldog staring at me. Northward around 80th~82nd streets there used to be a steep staircase; now it's a long slope, so one can ride from 60th st. all the way up to the Carl Schulz Park and continue. Wonder if 34th~60th will eventually be connected or not.
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Old 05-28-18, 08:02 PM
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Originally Posted by vol View Post
On Hudson Greenway between 59th and 70ish the bumpy "speed bump" parts made of stones/bricks where pedestrians would cross are replaced by smooth surface with lighter color.
The whole section under the highway there just re-opened a couple of weeks ago after being closed with barriers and signs forcing a scenic but potentially contentious detour on the pedestrian path closer to the river.

East River... Northward around 80th~82nd streets there used to be a steep staircase; now it's a long slope, so one can ride from 60th st. all the way up to the Carl Schulz Park and continue.
They finally fixed that? I'd been avoiding going north on the east side since the former stairs around 81st street had been closed and torn down for quite a while.

Wonder if 34th~60th will eventually be connected or not.
Would be very nice to have that, and also the missing section between Bobby Wagner and the Harlem River Driveway... and then if the Dyckman Bike lane survives politician parking pandering...
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Old 05-28-18, 08:31 PM
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Originally Posted by UniChris View Post
They finally fixed that? I'd been avoiding going north on the east side since the former stairs around 81st street had been closed and torn down for quite a while.
Yes, it's great, I didn't get off my bike at all, rode from the 60th st. to the mid 80s and got on York Ave non-stop.

According to this "East River Greenway" seems to only refer to between Brooklyn Bridge and 38th st, so it's possible 34th~60th will remain broken.
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Old 05-28-18, 08:41 PM
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Did you continue on the East Side north from Carl Shurz Park? When I biked this segment a few weeks ago, John Finley Walk

https://www.openstreetmap.org/#map=1...7638/-73.94328

abeam Gracie Mansion was closed. Has that ramp been re-opened?

It was an easy finagle to exit the park to the west, continue north on 1st Av, and return to the pedpath at 96th St.
@UniChris -- be aware: north of 96th St, there are some sketchy segments. Much of Manhattan's coastline is bulkhead, and what's on the "land" side of the bulkhead isn't entirely stable.

Worth adding: for some years, there's been an accessible segment of the pedpath adjacent to the Harlem River between E 132 St (tricky access by way of the north / east side of the ramp from Madison Av at 135th St) and E 139th St. About a year ago, that segment was extended to E 144th St, but you have to double back to the overpass at E 142nd St to exit to 5th Av. Also worth adding: there are folks who consider this segment of the pedpath to be their home, but I've never been uncomfortable.
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Old 05-28-18, 08:47 PM
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Originally Posted by arbee View Post
Did you continue on the East Side north from Carl Shurz Park? When I biked this segment a few weeks ago, John Finley Walk

https://www.openstreetmap.org/#map=1...7638/-73.94328

abeam Gracie Mansion was closed. Has that ramp been re-opened?
Now that you mention it, given the former bridge issue at 81st street it's been two years since I've tried to ride up that part of the east side. But I think I remember trying to walk south towards home from something further north along the river sometime last year and hit a closure that forced detouring to inland city streets.
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Old 05-28-18, 10:45 PM
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Originally Posted by arbee View Post
Did you continue on the East Side north from Carl Shurz Park? When I biked this segment a few weeks ago, John Finley Walk
No I didn't. It may have been 5+ years ago when I rode up to some 120-ish (until I couldn't go further) and then the turning onto local streets westward. Now I think back, it was a bad idea.

Originally Posted by UniChris View Post
The whole section under the highway there just re-opened a couple of weeks ago after being closed with barriers and signs forcing a scenic but potentially contentious detour on the pedestrian path closer to the river.
Wish I knew that. I used to walk my bike on the pedestrian path to enjoy it. There are fancy chairs and a lot of goose poops (got on my tire once).. Sometimes you can see the group of geese resting there.
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Old 05-29-18, 01:01 PM
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So with that ramp being fixed at 81st Street is it now continuous the rest of the way up? Can you get from the John Finley Walk to the Bobby Wagner Walk without coming out to 1st Ave?
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Old 05-29-18, 10:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Jarrettsin View Post
So with that ramp being fixed at 81st Street is it now continuous the rest of the way up? Can you get from the John Finley Walk to the Bobby Wagner Walk without coming out to 1st Ave?
My impression is that there's a construction project blocking it in the high 90's or low 100's but can't find any indication of exactly where.
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Old 05-29-18, 10:28 PM
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Quite frankly I would find any path with a decent view of the Brooklyn Bridge to be worth it totally. I've never been east of Yellowstone though and that was 1974.
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Old 05-30-18, 01:09 AM
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Forgot to mention, the narrow "choke point" near 14th street Con Edison plant has not changed. A picture of that part is shown here: East Side bike path is too narrow and full of potholes, riders say - NY Daily News
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Old 05-30-18, 03:40 AM
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Originally Posted by UniChris View Post
My impression is that there's a construction project blocking it in the high 90's or low 100's but can't find any indication of exactly where.
Thank you for the help Chris
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Old 06-16-18, 10:50 AM
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The construction is at 90th St and it's still there
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Old 07-23-18, 07:16 AM
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can anyone post a Strava segment or RidewithGPS route that goes around Manhattan, as best you can, to the rivers? I'd love to ride it, but not familiar enough with all the locations you guys refer to.

Thanks in advance!

/Ed
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Old 07-23-18, 09:22 AM
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Originally Posted by edman610 View Post
can anyone post a Strava segment or RidewithGPS route that goes around Manhattan, as best you can, to the rivers? I'd love to ride it, but not familiar enough with all the locations you guys refer to.
To be honest the northeast segment is just not worth it, and I say that having tried.

That said, if you're going to do it, two spots to be careful of are finding the inland start of the Harlem River Driveway path around 155th - got a turnabout dose of "you don't belong here" from some housing cops while looking for that, they did tell me how to find the alternate entrance up some stairs, but then literally sat there watching until I'd climbed them and ridden off, which I'd imagine is an experience many face daily elsewhere.

And also near the Western end of Dyckman there's bad signage at the intersection with Broadway, got confused about where to go and thought I'd take a shortcut which ended up with spending 45 minutes walking around lost in Inwood Hill Park (not that being lost in the woods in Manhattan wasn't novel and fun in a way) before following the sounds of traffic and coming back out exactly where I'd started. When you do get out to the river, you want to go up the concrete switchbacks - the level path is a nice little route by the river but dead ends after a mile or so without going through to the lighthouse. That northwest corner is the only place on the ride where you'll find hills, and they are serious.

Neither should be hard to figure out if you identify it on a map and actually have your phone out, my problem was more trying to do it from misread clues on the ground alone.
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Old 07-23-18, 11:50 AM
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Originally Posted by UniChris View Post
To be honest the northeast segment is just not worth it, and I say that having tried.

That said, if you're going to do it, two spots to be careful of are finding the inland start of the Harlem River Driveway path around 155th - got a turnabout dose of "you don't belong here" from some housing cops while looking for that, they did tell me how to find the alternate entrance up some stairs, but then literally sat there watching until I'd climbed them and ridden off, which I'd imagine is an experience many face daily elsewhere.

And also near the Western end of Dyckman there's bad signage at the intersection with Broadway, got confused about where to go and thought I'd take a shortcut which ended up with spending 45 minutes walking around lost in Inwood Hill Park (not that being lost in the woods in Manhattan wasn't novel and fun in a way) before following the sounds of traffic and coming back out exactly where I'd started. When you do get out to the river, you want to go up the concrete switchbacks - the level path is a nice little route by the river but dead ends after a mile or so without going through to the lighthouse. That northwest corner is the only place on the ride where you'll find hills, and they are serious.

Neither should be hard to figure out if you identify it on a map and actually have your phone out, my problem was more trying to do it from misread clues on the ground alone.
Hello, I am interested in riding this path and stumbled on this thread.

It sounds like you rode it recently. May I ask, how is the crowd on a Saturday? I've driven down the West Side HWY and gotten glimpses of the path on weekends and it doesn't look that bad. I will be riding with my 2 sons (13 and 8) so it will be a very leisurely ride. But wanted to know if you can tell me what I might expect in terms of crowdedness.
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Old 07-23-18, 12:19 PM
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Originally Posted by RockyRacc00n View Post
Hello, I am interested in riding this path and stumbled on this thread.

It sounds like you rode it recently. May I ask, how is the crowd on a Saturday? I've driven down the West Side HWY and gotten glimpses of the path on weekends and it doesn't look that bad. I will be riding with my 2 sons (13 and 8) so it will be a very leisurely ride. But wanted to know if you can tell me what I might expect in terms of crowdedness.
I've actually not been over there since peak summer started. It can get crowded, but I wouldn't worry about that for a leisurely ride on the west side path itself as long as your kids can ride with proper shared path behavior.

Riding up the west side to the lighthouse should be fun, probably you don't want to go above that. Most busy/hectic section is from the teens up to 59th so if you want a shorter more relaxed ride start at 34th hudson yards or 59th or even 96th.

On the east side the lower part is decent and east river park very relaxed but hard to get to other than from the south and especially with kids it's probably better not to go above around 14th street since too much of it beyond that has obstructions and sections in city traffic.

If you want something super relaxed take the ferry to Governor's Island... costs about $2 each with free return, no charge for bikes in fact you get to go in a much shorter line.
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Old 07-23-18, 01:02 PM
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Originally Posted by UniChris View Post
I've actually not been over there since peak summer started. It can get crowded, but I wouldn't worry about that for a leisurely ride on the west side path itself as long as your kids can ride with proper shared path behavior.

Riding up the west side to the lighthouse should be fun, probably you don't want to go above that. Most busy/hectic section is from the teens up to 59th so if you want a shorter more relaxed ride start at 34th hudson yards or 59th or even 96th.

On the east side the lower part is decent and east river park very relaxed but hard to get to other than from the south and especially with kids it's probably better not to go above around 14th street since too much of it beyond that has obstructions and sections in city traffic.

If you want something super relaxed take the ferry to Governor's Island... costs about $2 each with free return, no charge for bikes in fact you get to go in a much shorter line.
Thank you for this info. Governor's Island sounds like fun. We'll be coming down from Westchester County. So will probably start somewhere near the GWB and try to go as far south as we can. May be we can make it to the ferry for the Gov's Island.
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