2003 reports

Manhattan Waterfront Greenway

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Trip Report -- October 2003 -- Ken Roberts:

Starting early on a Sunday morning, Sharon and I rode on our tandem bicycle from the George Washington Bridge north on the Greenway to Dyckman St.   Then we followed the signs east on the streets across to the newly opened Harlem River Speedway section.  Then south on that all the way to the Staten Island Ferry terminal (with several required detours out onto the streets).  (Ken had previously skated all the other sections of the MWB on the West side back in September 2003)

It's a new adventure to consider trying -- for those who are ready for what they're getting into.

But if you thought the announcement of this "Manhattan Waterfront Greenway" meant that something resembling the West Side Greenway now goes around the entire island, then dream on.  It's not even close.  The east side north of like 34th St is nothing like the west side.

  • the width and quality of the pavement is completely different on the
    East side (above 34th St).
  • the access routing to the streets is much trickier at some places on the
    East side -- especially the one in the 150s.
  • Sharon and I did not find any public toilet facilities along the
    greenway anywhere above 37th St on the East side when we rode it in October.


We found a new map for the MWG on the NY City government website:

That map shows this pretty teal-green line in lots of sections of the East
side -- same color and style as for the West side.

But that visual expectation is not met in the actual bicycling -- the quality of the East side is very different from the West side -- as described above.

Notes for Skaters

The best new part is the fresh pavement on the west side north from the GWB
to almost Dyckman St.

Those wanting to try the whole circle on skates should be very expert for
handling any sort of traffic, obstacle, bad surface, or other risk or danger
that might arise (and have a real good reason for why they're not using a
bike for most of the east side).

I think on skates the circle goes less worse in the clockwise direction --
to take the trickiest hill sections in the uphill direction, and to take the
long moderate slope of St Nicholas Ave as a downhill.   Start early and
allow most of the day to deal with the non-skate-friendly sections.

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