GW Bridge - Bike/Walkway Status

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Anonymous's picture

However the hard hats said it could be closed at any time.

When this happends I assume the North Bike/Walkway (on the other side of the Westbound car lanes) will be opened.

To access the North Bike/Walkway:

From NY: W179th St West to end-- where it curves
into Cabrini, there is a gate/door on the left into

From NJ: Hudson Terrace: on the other side of
the bridge from the usual bike entrance=about 50- 100 feet North: stairway

As President Laskey said, there are a couple of stairs to shlep bikes up & own and it would be prudent to
use this bikeway with at least one other person

Anonymous's picture
Anthony Poole (not verified)
Watch out for debris on north bike path

Sorry if this sounds like stating the obvious but, given that the north bikepath/walkway has been shut for several months, there maybe a lot of debris on it, thrown up off the roadway and just waiting to puncture our tyres, so in addition to keeping a proper lookout and riding with another person, it might also be prudent to make sure you have spare tubes and levers. It's always a good idea to have those in any case.

If anyone does encounter a lot of debris, get it off your tyres as quickly as possible.

We can always hope that the Port Authority staff have swept it clean.

Let's hope for good weather so that the contractors can complete the painting on the south bike path as quickly as possible.

In the meantime, perhaps members who commute over the bridge daily can report back on what kind of condition the north path is in.

Anonymous's picture
gabriella (not verified)
"""George's Other Face"""

Today’s Bergen “Record” featured ‘George’s Other Face’, an article about the GWB’s north walkway. Bridge manager’s at the PA “hope to have work done by mid-September”, hopefully in time for a 9/14 charity bike ride which “will need a stair-free route across the bridge”. Cyclists are cautioned to be especially careful of the metal grated steps (65 of the steps are this type) when they are wet. They are also reminded that the closing gives cyclists and others crossing the bridge “an unobstructed view of the leafy expanse of the Hudson River Valley…”.
Members’ recollection of the number of steps is a bit off…the article mentions 89 on the NJ side, 73 on the NY.

Anonymous's picture
Banana Guy (not verified)
North Side (corrected)

Yes, the upstream side of the hudson was a way-cool view last night. So much more serene than the downstream view. Quite the pleasant change.
The Approach: Continue north on Washington, pass under the Bus Terminal overpass. Left on 179th St.
The entry is on the left at the corner.
Yes, there are quite a few stairs to carry up and down (some well-meaning designer welded ramps onto the stairs, but the slope is way too steep to roll a bike. I guess some x-treme cyclists may try riding down them)but we're carrying bicycles, not Harley Davidsons.

Anonymous's picture
Mordecai Silver (not verified)
North Side

"Banana Guy wrote: ""The Approach: Continue north on Washington, pass under the Bus Terminal overpass. Left on 177th St. The entry is on the left at the corner.""

Don't you mean left on 179th St.? I plan to ride over the bridge tomorrow morning, so I just want to be sure.

Anonymous's picture
Alfredo Garcia (not verified)
"""George's Other Face"" article web link"

It's long, cut and paste as one continuous line....

Anonymous's picture
Ron Roth (not verified)
It isn't open any longer.....

I did a ride out to River Road on Wednesday, August 27th, that led to my first encounter with the dreaded north walkway. The good news is that the walkway seemed as clear of debris as the south side typically has been. The bad news is the stairs really are a nuisance. My solution was to simply put on my cleat covers when I hit the first set of stairs, and leave them on for the duration of the crossing. Note that the clearance when going around the 2 towers is as tight as it has been on the western tower on the south side since they put the fencing around it. The mirrors used within the towers were aimed a bit better which made it easier to anticipate a potential encounter. However, they have a marking indicating that they expect bikes going in both directions to keep to one side, with pedestrians on the other. Given the amount of room allocated, I suspect no one in the construction crews actually put 2 bikes side by side and tried to walk past them. Expect to navigate the towers with extra caution, especially if leading a group. Hopefully, they will indeed finish their work prior to the MS ride on Sept.14th.

Anonymous's picture
hal eskenazi (not verified)

is the south side already closed as i understood, as of last night, that it wasn't closing for a few weeks?
if it is how to you approach the north side.
thanks hal

Anonymous's picture
Anthony Poole (not verified)
Still open last night

Yes, it was still open last night and the north side was still closed. Jay gives directions in the first contribution to this thread.

We drove over the bridge yesterday early evening in a car. While heading out of town I was able to get quite a good look at the north pathway and it does look as though there is quite a lot of debris on it it in places. I'm guessing it probably won't be swept before it is reopened.

Anonymous's picture
MB (not verified)
ss still open as of this a.m.

I rode River Road both Tues morning and very early this morning. The southern pathway was still open and the northern pathway was, per usual, off limits. I passed a lot of construction workers on the southern pathway both days though. I'm planning to head over the GWB early again tomorrow and will try to remember to ask someone if the question hasn't been answered by the obvious.

Jay, thanks for the directions to the northern pathway.

Anonymous's picture
richard rosenthal (not verified)
Crossing the N. side of the GWB risky.

"I haven't crossed the N. side ofthe GWB in probably ten years but until T.A., Komanoff, et al. successfully lobbied to get the S. side open to cyclists--and it was crazy that it wasn't always--we were obliged to use the N. side.

""A couple"" or ""a few"" steps did someone say in this thread? My recollection is there are 104 STAIRS. And you're walking them in CLEATS. And, yes, it's made all the more hazardous by the fact, at least as I recall it, the walkway and the steps are steel. Smooth. Slippery.

Be very cautious.

By the way, why do you suppose the DoT or Port Authority hasn't seen fit to resurface the curb cut on the NY side all these years? Failure to maintain it is simply irresponsible project management.

Richard Rosenthal"

Anonymous's picture
Peter Walker (not verified)
Does anyone have an update?

Any more news on this as of Saturday?

Anonymous's picture
Carol (not verified)
As of Saturday

I rode across the bridge this morning. The South path is still open. There were no workmen, so I assume it will still be open on Sunday.

Anonymous's picture
Basil (not verified)
GW Bridge south walkway still open

"In case anyone's wondering for the weekend, it was still open this morning.
FWIW, a ""hard hat"" (the artist with the coloring books???) on the bridge advised he thought it would be open for another couple of weeks before the closing."

Anonymous's picture
Peter Matusewitch (not verified)
GWB Walkways

I work for the engineering firm overseeing the painting work. I asked the engineer in our office who is the liason with the contractor for an update. I was informed that the north walkway was cleaned this week in preparation for closing the south walkway on Monday, August 25. However, nothing a contractor says about his schedule should be taken as gospel. There are a million reasons why closing the south walkway could be postponed further. It will happen when the contractor is ready.

Anonymous's picture
Sarah Lemire (not verified)
Entrance to North Side of GWB

Have directions as to how to get onto the north side of the GWB been posted anywhere yet?

Also does anyone want to ride to Piermont or Nyack on Tues of Thurs of this week? B18/A19 pace. Leave approx 8am from CP Engineer's Gate.

Anonymous's picture
Michael (not verified)
Tues/Thurs ride

I'd probably be game for Tuesday.. Hilly way to Nyack

I've done the North Side.. as I recall and I'm open to correction, Don't make the usual left on 167th from Ft Washington... but rather cross under the bridge and turn left as you then have a controlled intersection to go through.

Anonymous's picture
John Wilkinson (not verified)
Tuesday or Thursday ride to Nyack or Piermont

Hey hey Sarah,

You may have already recieved several messages from me,for this I apologize, but I've never used a message board before. If you can hold off until Thursday I'm yours if you'll have me. Please pardon my punctuation.

Drop me a line or give me a call this evening,
--John W.

Anonymous's picture
John Wilkinson (not verified)
Tuesday or Thursday ride to Nyack or Piermont

I suppose this would be useful if I wanted you to drop me that line.

917 974 8221

Anonymous's picture
Lee Ann (not verified)
Southside of GWB Closed

Today, 8/25/03, when exiting the GWB around 12:30 P.M. they were puting up the CLOSED signs on the south side of the pedestrian path. An engineer from the Port Authority said they would have both the north and south paths open today, for a while at the same time, then close down the south path. (He admitted there were a LOT of steps to climb on the north path.) I personally didn't see the path closed down, but they seemed busy doing it.

Anonymous's picture
JP (not verified)

The southern path over the GWB is closed as of Tuesday, 8/26 AM. The north side has about 50 stairs up and 50 down. Stay posted!

Anonymous's picture
richard rosenthal (not verified)
Vans/SUVs/cars to ferry us across the GWB?

My recollection form ten or more years ago is that walking incleats on the north side ofthe bridge could be dangerous. As in slippery what with plastic cleats skittering along smooth steel stairs. As I recall, 104 of them. So this gives rise to my wondering if anyone from Manhattan plans to drive across the bridge, could (s)he/could we organize a group ferry service.

Me? I'm of a mind to hitch hike across with my bike.

Meanwhile, I take a proprietary interest in the curb cut onto the south side of the bridge and am asking DoT Comm. Iris Weinshall to address its wretched condition so long as the bridge is being attended to cosmetically.


Anonymous's picture
Bill Vojtech (not verified)
Just use some kung-fu...

slippers that is. They are cheap, fold flat and fit in a jersey pocket.

Look pedal users can get cleat covers, as can some other varieties of cleats, though they still may be a bit uncomfortable on that many stairs.

Anonymous's picture
Peter Matusewitch (not verified)
South Walkway Curb Cut

The GWB is owned by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, not by NYCDOT. Any requests regarding the bridge need to be sent to the PA. NYCDOT can pass along requests that they get, but they mostly just tell you to contact the PA.

Anonymous's picture
Anthony Poole (not verified)
Curb on Calbrini Blvd?

Assumption is a dangerous thing, but the curb cut on Calbrini Blvd that goes to the sidewalk leading to the southside bike path is, I believe, on a New York City street and should be the responsibility of the city. I am assuming that the curb cut that Richard refers to is that one and not another. And it certainly is in a very poor state.

However, I could live with it being in a poor state if the NYCDOT could be bothered to resurface the rest of New York City's streets properly. At the moment, the quality of road surface in much of the five boroughs is that of a third world country.

But, realistically, there is probably absolutely no chance whatsoever of the city taking care of any of these problems.

Anonymous's picture
richard rosenthal (not verified)
The curb cut onto the GWB IS NYC's creation and responsibility.

Anthony has this precisely right.

Here is what I base it on and, I'm afraid, this entails boasting/hubris/calling attention to myself.

If I were asked to list any meaningful contributions I've made in my life, my life being played out on a very small field, I would cite that curb cut as among the scant few I've made. It came into being in response to my personally lobbying Lucius Riccio, a former DoT commissioner who was kind enough to credit me for it. That's why I take a proprietary interest in it.

Loving, as I do, the bike ride I habitually take, I've thought a not un-fitting place for my ashes once the hospital has extracted whatever it wants from me, would be embedded in that curb cut.

(As I see bikes bound up it, I wish I could lay claim to a one-penny toll.)

As for the city's streets being in such terrible disrepair, 177th St.(that is the one we turn off Ft. Washington, heading for the bridge, isn't it?) is as good an example as any. That's in my note to Weinshall as well.


Anonymous's picture
Alfredo Garcia (not verified)
a long time ago in a cycling galaxy far far away

"In 1984, the Port Authority had a free car transport that would take you and your bike over the bridge both ways. Found out via Stuyvesant Bike Shop and gave me a map of the meeting points.

You rode in the van and the secured bike was placed in an open trailer. After getting off at Ft. Lee, I rode down to Jersey City, with my '83 Bridgestone Kubuki road bike.

Nowadays, with lots of ferry service, a suggest cruise route would be either from 38th St., 72nd St. @ Riverside Park or the Dyckman St. waterfront to either the Ross Dock at River Rd. or the ""Pier"" at Piermont."

Anonymous's picture
don montalvo (not verified)
the same was offered at the queensboro bridge some years ago

i remember my fork was mangled when too many bikes were stuffed onto a trailer. of course i didn't know bikes were being squished together since i was already in the van.


Anonymous's picture
Robin (not verified)
a little treacherous

Yes, indeed, there are many steps up and down on both sides of the bridge. I am glad I have a light bicycle. I will bring cleat covers next time to see if that helps.

Another point to mention...have your wits about you. There is a spot on the steps on the Manhattan side where a person might feel a bit vulnerable, especially if female and alone. It's a platform with room enough for someone to hang out...and not be too visible. there was someone there today doing pushups (?) and then watching us climb the stairs. Just be aware.

Anonymous's picture
Mordecai Silver (not verified)
North side bikepath

How is the north side bikepath itself? Is there a lot of debris, like broken glass?

Anonymous's picture
Robin (not verified)

I didn't notice anything unusual. No glass or trash that I saw.

Anonymous's picture
Evan Marks (not verified)
~ 160 steps

Each way. I think. After a while I may have lost count.

Westchester, anyone?

Anonymous's picture
JP (not verified)

For a while now, once in awhile, I ride to 38th And 12th and take the NY Waterways ferry to Port Imperial. $5 + $1. At the NJ side, simply head north along the water (more or less). There is a fairly steep climb up to the entrance to the rural River Road or, you can head to the GWB - another steep one. But then - there you are.

Plus, something about the 10 minute or so ferry ride that is soooooo refreshing. And Port Imperial has bathrooms and a deli.

Anonymous's picture
Robin (not verified)
sounds refreshing, but....

yikes! $12 a (bike) ride is steep.

Anonymous's picture
JP (not verified)
Solution ...

... again ... bring one less bottle of cheap tequila to save money ;-)

Yes, it could add up. I do it every now and then ... looks like now may be a now. Hey, I'm worth $12, maybe even $24.

But I hear the ferries are major polluters .... Always something!

Anonymous's picture
Banana Guy (not verified)
for $12 a ride..

Take the Bridge, just consider the stairs as cross-training.
Spinning and Stairmaster in one workout!

Anonymous's picture
Bonsignore (not verified)
GWB North Side

Slammed up to Piermont yesterday (Thursday) and encountered the fabled north side. For what its worth this was my general impression:

Do cross under the bridge to obtain safe access

The north seems as clean as the south side usually is or was

Groups of riders need to space themselves apart while carrying bikes on stairs

Taller folks need to be careful of the cage on the north side while descending stairs with bikes as bikes could hit top of cage causing one to lose their balance on the stairs. I'm 5-4 and my bike came close to the top.

Just consider the stairs part of the workout, not an obstacle, and they seem to have less impact relative to annoyance. (it almost worked for me)

Robin is correct about safety, see her note.

Best to all :)

Anonymous's picture
george (not verified)
GWB Stairs

I read the threads, saw the pictures, and approached the GWB with some trepidation. To find less stairs than the average 5-storey walkup. So whats with all the griping? Surely if you can ride to Nyack and back you're not going to let a few little stairs upset your day's biking?

cycling trips