GWB South Path Closings?

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12 replies [Last post]
Anonymous's picture

Hey All,

According to the NYCC home page, the south path of the GWB will be closed Fridays and Saturdays from 11:59PM (almost midnight) to 8:00AM.

This past Saturday, I was there at around 9:30AM and it was closed. Am I not reading these times correctly? It appears that all the work will be done in the wee hours of the mornings and that the path will be open for midday and evening usage on weekends.

Please help me figure this one out.

Anonymous's picture
Mark (not verified)

There is no path open (South or North) during hours listed. At other times you will more than likely have to go on North path w/it's wonderful staires. For more info. see

Anonymous's picture
Wayman Thomas (not verified)
I found the following from Port Authority website regarding GWB

Pedestrians and Bicyclists
The Port Authority is preparing to begin construction on a project that will enhance the safety and security of the George Washington Bridge.

Effective on or about September 12, through summer 2006, the following sidewalk hours of operation will be in effect:

Monday to Thursday, 6 a.m. until 9 p.m.
Friday, 6 a.m. until midnight
Saturday and Sunday, 8 a.m. until midnight

Please note:

The North sidewalk will be open from Monday, September 12, through Saturday, October 15.
The South sidewalk will be open from Sunday, October 16 through Friday, November 19.

Signs will be installed at both sidewalk entrances to inform users which sidewalk will be open during each period.

Please visit us here for updates and information regarding post-November 19 sidewalk schedules.

We understand that the bridge's sidewalk is used by many pedestrians and bicyclists, and we have limited the hours the sidewalk will be closed to the minimum required to effectuate the work. Our primary objective in all our construction projects is to ensure the safety of our customers. In this case, the work cannot proceed safely unless the sidewalk is closed at the earlier time.
Thank you for your patience and cooperation.

Anonymous's picture
Andy (not verified)
That's what I thought, but...

This pretty much confirms what I thought the home page was saying, which is that we CAN (or are supposed to be able to) use the South sidewalk from 8AM Saturday through midnight Saturday (11:59PM). This, unfortunately, doesn't jive with what I encountered at the GWB last weekend.

Or maybe I'm STILL not getting it? :/

Anonymous's picture
Anthony Poole (not verified)
You're missing the point!

The point is this: The south sidewalk has been temporarily closed 24 hours a day since Monday September 12 and will remain shut until, and including, Saturday October 15. It reopens on Sunday 16th and will operate on the hours posted on the Port Authority's website, quoted elsewhere in this thread. The website is not particularly clear about this and is actually quite ambiguous, if you read it. Until the south path reopens cyclists have to use the north path.

The reason for the south path closure is that, in addition to the work mentioned elsewhere in this thread, there is also painting and steel work going on to the steel supports that attach the lower deck of the bridge to the upper deck. At a future date, the same work will have to be done on the north side of the bridge.

During ENY, while riding on the north path, I glanced across to the south path and observed a section where the railing had been removed and work was going on. Without the railing, there is a straight drop down into the river. That is why the south path is closed until the middle of this month.

During the course of the next several months, there will be periodic closures of the south path and the only way over by bike, legally, is on the north path with all of those stairs.

The Port Authority has hinted that the next south path closure will not be before November 19. So we will have to keep checking the website for updates.

Anonymous's picture
j. Caplan (not verified)
It's open...

following is from the 5BBC email

After being closed in recent weeks, the Port Authority is scheduled
to re-open the south sidewalk on the GWB at 8am this Saturday, a week
earlier than they had listed on their website at:

Anonymous's picture
Jay (not verified)
the South Walk will be open this Sat

According to a Port Auth employee this morning

Anonymous's picture
Karen (not verified)
Bikers vs cars on the bridge

Does anyone wonder why in this world of high gas prices (driving this country to war no less), cars' never ending environmental damage etc etc etc, that the city doesn't even blink an eye to essentially close one of the highest used bike paths in the city? (anyone who has tried to cover the 3 SETS of stairs on the north side of the GWB will understand this)..

How is this acceptable??

Couldn't the city close one lane on the GWB during peak biking hours (i.e. saturday and sunday mornings?).

As a biker & and a runner, I was shocked at the disparity between the power that the road runners have vs the bikers (although I don't mean to be competitive as ALL ATHLETIC GROUPS should be able to make NY a healthier city in all ways). 2 weeks ago, the NYRR closed 30 blocks of 5th avenue all day Saturday. This is a key road for NY. I as a runner of this race heard many a driver complain angrily to the NYPD (who were out in full force to help the NYRR with this event) that the road was closed. However, the drivers were just told to take another route.

Why can't the city give bikers the same respect and not force bikers to have to take a very unsafe and treacherous route across the GWB?

Anonymous's picture
April (not verified)
Power of numbers

"""As a biker & and a runner, I was shocked at the disparity between the power that the road runners have vs the bikers""

Shock? Give me a break! For every cyclist, there're probably 100 runners! If you're that observant, you really should have been shocked to notice the disparity between the number of people who run and the number of people who bike!

If you're the city officials, who do you pay more attention to? The thousand of runners? Or the hundreds of cyclist?"

Anonymous's picture
Richard Rosenthal (not verified)
A solution to the problem of crossing the north side of the GWB.

It's not too difficult to imagine one who is wearing cleats injuring himself/herself on one of the. c. 160 (slippery, smooth, steel) stairs on the north side of the GWB.

Here's an idea. When the south side of the GWB walkway is closed, the Port Authority should operate a bus or open bed truck running back and forth across the bridge for cyclists rather than obliging them to endanger themselves traversing those c. 165 steel steps.

Here's another idea: Every half hour a convoy of cyclists be permitted to ride across the bridge, staying in one lane, lead and followed by a PA police car with its flasher lights on,

Of course, the Port Authority won't do it because they have no incentive to do so. The constituency of cyclists has no clout and by and large we're an utterly passive, wholly accepting lot—witness, for example, the invective unleashed on the poster here who, some months ago, had the temerity to put forward the radical idea that runners in Central Park should be considerate of cyclists by not fanning out across the entire width of the roadway or incurring into the cycling lane when their own dedicated running lane is not crowded.

Oh, you think we're not a passive and accepting lot? Tell me, what have YOU done to complain/present your case to the PA (or, in other circumstances, the Parks Dept., NYRR, or City of NY).

Anonymous's picture
Joe Soda (not verified)
Climbing stairs

Is there really any need for trucks to carry riders across the bridge so they don't have to climb a few flights of stairs? Jeez, what a burden. The city is full of people who have to carry their bikes up and down several flights of stairs just to get out of their houses. The city can't offer ultimate convenience to every single person. Suck it up and climb the stairs. Or go to Westchester for a change.

Anonymous's picture
Andy (not verified)
Not the issue, Joe.

"I climb four flights of stairs coming home with my bike. The stairs in my building, however, aren't metal grates--perhaps yours are, and you're used to them? Richard's pointing out, I believe, how groups like runners get plenty of what they're after by grouping together as a political body, whereas cyclists often tend to be--somehow, and on the whole--a bit less uptight and ""entitled"" in their outlooks.

That said, I feel Richard's idea would be beautiful if it could happen; unfortunately, it most likely won't, and not because he isn't the man to make things happen. (As many of us know, he is.)

Not a matter of ""sucking it up"" and climbing/descending the stairs--which I've found, careful as I am, fairly dicey when there are several cyclists attempting to ascend/descend at once, trying to be considerate of those in front of and behind them--but one of compromise on the PA's side as well as ours. Give and take, instead of only us cyclists doing all the giving with our taxes at work.

I hadn't any idea that my post would end up with a ""suck it up and climb the stairs"" answer. Ridiculous, and pretty far off track. If you haven't anything nice to say....


Anonymous's picture
Karen (not verified)
Let's all just get along...

Andy my sentiments completely. I didn't expect that my comment would be greeted with disdain and mocking retorts either...

Whether there are more runners than bikers is not the point. The point is though how can we BOTH become better organized as a group to better ensure the safety of biking and running, and the respect for biking by drivers, runners, etc.

Clearly the answer to all of these ravings is that the NYCC and its members needs to become more of a politically oriented / advocacy group. The question is are we all just too lazy or uncaring to do anything about this? Perhaps the NYCC should meet with NYRR and ask them ways we both can be more successful in encouraging safety etc for our sport. I don't think it's just a numbers issue. Couldn't all of the bike shops, biking apparel companies, health clubs, etc. band together to make this better? Maybe there are no solutions to any of these and I should just, what, move to Westchester?

cycling trips