2005 reports

Manhattan Waterfront Greenway

what's here

KenR, June 2005:

On skates, I checked out some possible ideas for avoiding some difficult sections on the East side (mentioned in the May 2005 report). Going south down the East side, the route meets the water again at 120th St. I skated past a ramp + highway overpass which gives access to 111th St, and continued south on the off-road trailway between the water and the highway.

Somewhere around 90th St the highway goes underground, and the trailway starts to climb. I carefully went over a "rumble strip" of bands of stones across the pavement (which looked like they'd be nasty to roll into going downhill on skates), and soon turned Right and went up a broad set of steps. Actually I skated about 10 meters south past the first steps, then turned sharp right up a higher gentler branch of steps that joined the same path as the lower steps. (these steps start lower than a second "rumble strip" of stones across the pavement a bit further south). From the top of the steps I continued thru Carl Shurz Park, then down to a traffic light at the intersection of East End Av with 88th St. Then I skated west on 87th St to Lexington Av, and there is a subway station at Lexington Av and 86th St, and the downtown subway from there goes south to Grand Central for access to other subways and Metro North railroad.

It is also possible to enter Central Park by 90th St and Fifth Av and get on the Central Park loop road (or less conveniently near 85th St and Fifth Av). On that day I actually skated south on Fifth Av to near the New York Public Library, then to Grand Central.

From Grand Central I exited to Lexington Av near 42nd St, then skated south on Lexington Av, then turned Left onto East 41st St, which was one-way East-bound in that block. I crossed Third Av, then 41st St became two-way. When I reached Second Av, I turned Right (south) and saw the Manhattan Waterfront Greenway markers. I followed those markers to turn Left onto 38th St, which ended at a high-speed-vehicle exit-entrance for the highway. I followed the Greenway markers and turned Right along this exit-entrance down to 37th St, then turned Left to cross this high-speed exit-entrance, then on a sidewalk underneath, then crossed another high-speed-vehicle exit-entrance. Turned Right to go south on the Greenway trailway.

KenR, May 2005:

I skated all the way around the island on a midweek day. The route has improved since two years ago. I can't recommend trying to skate the whole thing, but I have heard happy reports from some people who bicycled it.

I skated it in the clockwise direction, north up the west side and south down the east side. I would not want to skate it in the other direction, because some of the downhills would be steeper in that direction and require a much higher skill level to not be dangerous (or else take skates off and walk down).

What I liked least on skates was the section on the streets on the East side between 67th and 37th streets. I also found the texture of the pavement on the path difficult in the elevated section on the east side for a ways below 88th St.

On the west side of the south tip of Manhattan, I skated along the water on the Esplanade on the west of the World Financial Center. Another time I skated the actual Greenway, which from the Battery Place street turns North inland along the west side of West St -- due to construction it was trickly to find the south end of this section.

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