River Road Tickets?

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Anonymous's picture

I heard a rumor that police were giving out tickets today, Friday 1/20, on River Road including 2 points on a license. Can anyone with direct experience confirm?

Especially given the lack of signage about the road being closed to cyclists and the number of pedestrians, runners, etc. who use it (and probably don't get tickets adding 2 points to their license) and the general idiocy of closing the road to cyclists who wouldn't hurt anything or anyone by using it in the winter months, I can't imagine how such a policy could be justified or sustained. Hopefully it's not so.

Anonymous's picture
Cat (not verified)

I heard the same thing. My friends and i were about 1 mile into River Road yesterday when a guy on a bike came towards us and said he just got a ticket and we should turn around. We were so shocked we just backed up and took 9W. I wish we'd proceeded, just to see what they were trying to get away with. And what kind of warning signage there was ahead. Interested to hear others' stories of this.

Anonymous's picture
Evan Marks (not verified)
from the Palisades Park website

">Henry Hudson Drive* is open to cars and bicycles daylight hours (conditions permitting) from the first Saturday in April to the last Sunday in October. Due to rock slides, tree falls, and other emergency situations, the Drive may need to be temporarily closed. At such times—as well as during its winter closure—the Drive is closed to all vehicles, including bicycles. When a barrier has been put in place by the Park on any of its roadways, the roadway beyond that barrier is to be considered closed for all use; those going beyond such a barrier are subject to prosecution<

*aka ""River Rd""


Anonymous's picture
<a href="http://www.OhReallyOreilly.com">Peter O'Reilly</a> (not verified)
Interesting details

I road past the south entrance today (Sunday, 1/22) and the gate was closed. There were cars parked outside in the lot, presumably there for hikers, walkers and runners.

I can understand somewhat their logic for closing the drive to cars, since that road is not necessary for travel when Palisades Ave and 9W do just fine and weighing in the balance of rock slides and what not.

As for cycling, that's for sport and recreation. Inherently there is an assumption of risk much like the same for hiking. While I'm sure experiencing a rockslide would be catastrophic, the chances of it happening would be almost unfathomable. I'd think I have a better chance of being struck by lightning.

Ideally there should be signs at the entrances warning you of rockslides and what not.

There are entrance signs already which detail various rules for cyclists. Noticeably absent are the rules noted in Evan's post! I don't think it's reasonable to expect someone to check the website first before entering the park. That's my two cents.

Anonymous's picture
David (not verified)
The issue of signs

"I agree completely on the issue of letting hikers, runners, etc. use the road, but not cyclists. Seems like a ""do at your own risk"" type thing.

My concern about emphasizing the lack of signs is that -- given the way they think -- they might just decide the solution is to put up another nasty set of signs and then nail the cyclists who failed to pay attention to them. The issue is the policy.


Anonymous's picture
David (not verified)
Who to Contact

"Hi all,

For what it's worth, I did find information on the Palisades Park Commission website about a Citizens Advisory Council that meets once a month, usually at 1:30 PM on the second Thursday (people interested in listening in are encouraged to call ahead at 201 768-1360). There are several members, including a Irwin Rosman representing bicycle clubs.

I think it might be time to work on improving relations with those responsible for running the park. It's not just the apparent policy of ticketing cyclists. It's a general attitude reflected in my wife's overhearing an officer through a window say emphatically ""I hate all cyclists"" when she and others from the club were stopping at the police station to get water and go to the bathroom. The signs with rules along river road also seem to reflect a lack of knowledge of what it's actually like to ride river road, mainly being written from the perspective of an auto driver.

I'd argue that River Road is one of the main roads in the area where cyclists and pedestrians use and enjoy it more than motorists, and appropriately so, since there are many more direct ways to get from point A to B in a car than that route. Not that cars should be kept out all the time, but that in this instance primary usage should be recognized as non-motor.

The email address for the park commission is [email protected].

The parks are run by a ten member commission, 5 of which are appointed by the New Jersey governor and 5 by the New York governor to staggered five year terms (so Corzine will be responsible for appointments in the near future). The office for the interstate commission is at Bear Mountain, phone is 845-786-2701. They have a website at http://www.pipc.org, but some links on it are dead.

I think initially it makes sense to try to find and create allies who understand the importance of working on behalf of cyclists, not just putatively protecting them from themselves by imposing poorly thought-through and informed restrictions.


Anonymous's picture
Bill Vojtech (not verified)
Protecting us from ourselves...

"Given the lawsuit-happy culture we've become, they have to ""protect us from ourselves,"" or they open themselves up to lawsuits when we hurt ourselves and sue them for letting us."

Anonymous's picture
Colleen (not verified)

"Since I was one of the group who heard this rumor on River Rd., I wanted to clarify that the cyclist who told us about the tickets was nowhere near the Alpine hill, and he said they were giving out tickets ""just around the bend."" We were still on the south end of the road. Also, as Evan has noted, the website makes clear that cyclists are not allowed on the road at all when the gates are closed. So, I'm not sure how all this fits with what the superintendent said."

Anonymous's picture
Ed (not verified)
Irwin Rosman?

“For what it's worth, I did find information on the Palisades Park Commission website about a Citizens Advisory Council that meets once a month, usually at 1:30 PM on the second Thursday (people interested in listening in are encouraged to call ahead at 201 768-1360). There are several members, including a Irwin Rosman representing bicycle clubs.”

Maybe the Board should track down “Irwin Rosman” and talk with him, see what’s the ‘skinny’ and possibly ask him to either come to a club meeting and explain things and/or ask if he could represent us also? Or maybe the NYC bike clubs could draft someone to represent our interests? I agree that having good relations is critical.

I belong to a running club that uses River Road as a 20- mile NYC Marathon training route every September. We drop water at the old guard booth in Englewood Cliffs and then at the traffic circle at the Alpine Boat Basin. One time, just being on the wrong side of the chain was enough to incur the wrath of an officer.

Anonymous's picture
Popeye Doyle (not verified)
The Palisades

The Park was created for two reasons:
1. The blasting at the quarries disturbed the guy who owned Wave Hill across the River. I think it was Perkins.

2. To provide recreation, specifically camping, hiking, swimming, athletics, etc., for the poor of NY & NJ. Nothing about marinas and boat trailers, parking for cars, etc. There should be an ample number of public toilets in the Park. If they don't want people using the police station, they are obligated to provide more facilities.

It is our Park. The police and the commissioners try to run it as a private nature preserve and it shouldn't be tolerated.

Anonymous's picture
Richard Rosenthal (not verified)
Yeah, right, like I could be silent in this thread.

"A bit of historical perspective on the hostility of the authorities to the use of River Road by cyclists:

Time was that road was closed to cyclists for most hours of the week, it having been felt use of the road should be enjoyed by boaters off-loading their boats without their having to be mindful of cyclists.

It was in negotiation to open use of the road to cyclists on a full-time basis that, in exchange for that, that wonderful ascent to/descent from Hudson Terrace was barred to cyclists and the rule that cyclists wear a helmet was imposed.

Several years ago a cyclist crashed hard on River Road and in need of medical assistance. The police officer saw fit to to issue the cyclist a ticket for not wearing a helmet as he lay bleeding in the road before he called for medical help. Priorities.

Should you get a ticket in that jurisdiction, it's possible you'll show up for trial in that PIPC headquarters (the building that houses the police station at the end of the climb into Alpine--I hesitate to say the Alpine climb because it's not that), only to find the prosecutor reserves the right to change the charge you're tried for: so if you come prepared to defend yourself from one charge, you might find you're being tried for another one. You'll object. The hearing ""judge"" will offer you an adjournment...but you'll think of the difficulty of getting up there on another day and might decide to improvise your defense on the new charge, whether or not you've brought a witness who is not prepared to testify for you on that other charge.

One person cyclists may wish to befriend is Lynn Pearson/Pierson, the administrator at the Alpine PIPC office. She's the one who rages at cyclists for not parking their bikes in the bike stand, and worse, for putting them in the flower beds. (I agree with her about not killing flowers.)

She's around the police all the time and is their bud, of course, not ours. There's not much in it for her to side with us against anybody. As for her and their sensibilities, our form of recreation (and transportation) is not one they share or understand. We're not at a tailgate get together at a football game. Now THAT'S a real good time. And even more aggravating, we're having a good time, we're enjoying recreation while they're having to work.

The police, loving, as they do, the exercise of their authority, and hating, as they do, what they perceive as a challenge to their own domain, rage at your leaning your bike against the handrail. Let us recall, it was only after a critical mass of us did this before there were bike stands that it occurred to the PIPC to get bike stands. But add another now when there is the need for another? No,they say there's no room. You be the judge of that.

Something that grates on everyone with any sense of propriety is our failing to clean up after ourselves in the washroom--failing to flush the toilets, leaving towels strewn about, and a pool of water on the counter top. Are you one of those porcine types?

Summary question: Why doesn't--the PIPC (as it hasn't for years) resurfaced that stretch of pocked and truly rotten pavement from the start of River Road in Ft. Lee to that first uphill where the pavement has been resurfaced? The remainder of the road undergoes periodic filling in of holes and overall resurfacing. Why not that section?

Was it in this thread (which I'm not pausing to re-read) that someone recently wrote of parking spaces reserved on PIPC grounds for New Jersey drivers or NJ registered cars? Since the PIPC is a bi-state entity/authority--as observed here with an even amount of members appointed by the governors of NJ and NY--that would seem to violate the bi-state terms of the PIPC itself."

Anonymous's picture
david (not verified)
Clarification by Jim Hall, Superintendent

Hi all,

I just received this clarification from Jim Hall, superintendent at the Palisades office:
I would welcome discussion with cyclists regarding use of the park. I know that frustrations do exist on both sides at times, as with all user groups there is an element that can be rude and disrespectful (I have been subject to it myself with cyclists). However most are courteous. Better understanding on both sides would be helpful. As far as the park drive, only the upper portion of this hill near exit one is closed to bikes and subject to tickets. However, due to a large rock slide this winter the road has been closed going down Alpine hill and police may have been enforcing that since it is a dangerous condition. (I actually saw a biker attempt to traverse the rock slide area a few days after it happened - and only turned back after he almost got hit by falling rocks).

The advisory council meets on the second Thursday of each month at 1:30 pm at the Alpine office. CAC members include Kevin Tremble, Dan Chazin, Brian Moscatello, Susan Gordon and Irv Rosman.

I cannot go to this particular meeting time because I teach then, but maybe some others could?


Anonymous's picture
Cat (not verified)

Wow!! Now isn't this kind of discourse what our Message Board should entertain? Meaningful content, healthy discussion, positive initiative, and no personal attacks. Bravo, everyone.

I have found it hard to be courteous and deferential when the lady at the police station (hey, look at that, she has a NAME!) barks at me to park my bike properly. (At least there IS a bike rack, even if it is tucked away forcing us to make the 20-foot trek in cleats to the front door.) Looking at the big picture, it appears to be worth adjusting my attitude a bit and for everyone to consider the other side of the situation. Perhaps the unwelcome rock-slide could bring about some sorely needed diplomacy and mutual understanding.

I can't go to the February meeting of the advisory council unless i can get a sub for work. Perhaps a few people could plan to go and keep the rest of us informed. I will be happy to attend future meetings.

Thank you, David, Richard, Ed, and everyone working positively toward a solution.

Anonymous's picture
Carol (not verified)
I'll Go

I cannot get to the February meeting, but I intend to go to the March meeting. Thanks for all the information.

Carol Waaser

cycling trips