The New Pedestrian / Bicycle Path on the Mario Cuomo Bridge Gets a Failing Grade!
Not worth the Hassle of getting hit by a bicycle or dealing with rude, insensitive and selfish people.
So we drove over to the Mario M. Cuomo for the first full day of its 3.6 mile shared bicycle and pedestrian path. What’d we find? It sucks!
Because there’s not enough space! You’ve got a path that’s 12 feet in width. More than half of it is assigned to bicyclists. Actually, I’m inclined to say it’s 3/5 of it is for bikes and 2/5 for pedestrians. At 12 feet total width we’ve then got under 5 feet of width for pedestrians to share.
What I’ve seen is that two individuals can just barely stand shoulder to shoulder within that space. Next to it is the allotted space for bicycles that are zipping by in either direction. Some at speeds faster than the posted rule of 15mph.
So, what’s my beef? There’s no room!
Let’s face it. People, in general… or shall I say, Americans? Or New Yorkers? They’re selfish! I used to blame the mess of the Brooklyn Bridge on tourists, but after seeing how New Yorkers have behaved, in the streets of Manhattan in the middle of a pandemic, getting intoxicated and without masks? They’re just plain selfish! As are those people on the Brooklyn Bridge and these people on the Mario Cuomo Bridge.
These are the same sorts of people who’ll walk down a sidewalk shoulder to shoulder. The wider the space available, the deeper the number of shoulders they’ll go in rudeness. Yes, at times one CAN step onto the bike lane so’s to let someone (selfish) pass by, but then you’ll always be looking over your shoulder for a speeding bike who’ve no intention of slowing down. They rarely do. Such has been the case on the Brooklyn Bridge for years and years.
I say, that they make the same sort of path available on the other bridge span. Much like what’s done on the Golden Gate Bridge in San Franscisco. One side of the bridge is for foot travel. The other side for bikes. Works like a charm. I’ve been there numerous times and have see cops in the process of enforcing the no bike in the pedestrian lane rule.
Why can’t they do it here, across the Hudson?
If I wanted to get into the hustle and bustle of city life then I’d head down on the subway to the Brooklyn Bridge when everything gets back to normal. At least there, you’ve got a lot more to see and gawk at.
Speaking of aesthetics. Time and again, I’ve come across folks who’ve stated how gosh darn ugly this bridge is…and they’re right! It’s ugly! The only aesthetically redeeming quality about it are the spans and cables. Yet, that goes out the window with all the dang fencing and wiring. It’s like walking down a visually appealing neighborhood with beautiful trees, houses and sidewalks. All ruined by unsightly power cables above.
I imagine the fencing’s there so one isn’t able to take a high dive plunge into the Hudson or get splattered on the roadway by a passing 18 Wheeler.
But take the Bear Mount Bridge. Visually accessible views all around with nothing in the way. No fencing, no wires, no glass. Heck, they don’t care if you wanna kill yourself on that bridge…the attitude there is, “hey! You wanna jump, then jump!” Not that it’s okay. I’m just making a comparison.
Want something scenic? Travel up there for that bridge, or go farther up to the Henry Hudson Walkway. Wide and long with lots of open space to appreciate. ‘and it’s peaceful too!
But the Mario Cuomo Bridge? Nope, ain’t doing it again. We walked clear across and back with a migraine in the end. Not worth it! I say, you shouldn’t bother either!
BTW, interestingly, Governor Andrew Cuomo would be the same person pushing this new pathway. He’s also the same person who pushing us onto the subways saying it’s safe, it’s safe. Meanwhile, not raising a ruckuss over the thousands taking to the streets to protest in close proximity yet getting steamed up over people drinking in the streets of New York City. Explain that to me.
Also, I’ll admit that when we arrived at the bridge, around 3:45 pm, there weren’t many folks to be found along the way. But as every half hour went by, more and more would materialize. More people, more bikes…and that’s when things got shot to hell.