Police station at top of River Road

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Anonymous's picture
Anonymous

I just came back from a ride with a friend to the top of River Road and I noticed that inside the police station there was a large sign on the mens bathroom door that said it was closed. Also the water fountain was not working. I noticed last Saturday that the water fountain was not working and one of the cops seemed very annoyed about the bikes around the station door. is it just me or is there something going on?

Carlos
p.s. I had a very thirsty ride home.

Anonymous's picture
[email protected] (not verified)

"about 4 weeks ago a friend and myself were literally verbally berated by a very angry office worker who did not want us stopping there for any reason and was saying she was going to start a petition to have river road closed to cyclists..

My friend actually followed her into her office and very politely and kindly asked her why she was so upset. The lady said she was sorry she became so angry and yelled at us (for no reason)but many of the cyclysts were rude to them, cursed/ and or said rude things at them when they drove by, rode down the middle of the road, didn't use the bike racks, leaned their bikes against the bushes/flowers ruining them etc.. and that it was all those ""New York Cycle Club People""

We responded with overly kind words and thanked them for their hospitality told them that NYCC is filled with fabulous peole and that every group has one or two bad apples kind of thing - but you know.. what can you do?

"

Anonymous's picture
Rob M (not verified)
I was there last week...

... several times and a)the cops were very nice and b)both were working.

There is a service station just off 9w (right as you head home) don't know the name of the road but I think its the first right.

Lastly, I am not surprised he was pissed off about the bikes around the door. What is the rack for? There used to be a sign asking people to use the rack.

Anonymous's picture
jc (not verified)
Bike Racks

Since there is only 1 bike rack at the police station, maybe the NYCC and other clubs could take up a donation and buy a couple of more racks. They sure could use 'em.

Anonymous's picture
Carlos (not verified)
bike racks

I think this is a good idea. Also, it would be a good will gesture that would benefit everybody.

Anonymous's picture
Morene Bangel (not verified)
Men's room

It was locked today around 11ish, so I stood guard at the ladies' room while the guys used it. The water fountain was fine then.
Morene

Anonymous's picture
Morene Bangel (not verified)
Men's room

It was locked today around 11ish, so I stood guard at the ladies' room while the guys used it. The water fountain was fine then.
Morene

Anonymous's picture
Skip (not verified)
No Water

When I was there today I was told a water main break affected both the police station and the boat launch area.

Anonymous's picture
Jay (not verified)
there is a drink machine with cold bottles of water

at the back of the lobby past the mens room and the door which says no exit

Anonymous's picture
tim (not verified)
today (8/19)

"rode up there this morning. there is a nasty little sign indicating that cyclists cannot use the water fountain or the bathroom. as i read the sign some guy in there looked ready to ""explain"" it to me if i tried to walk in the building.
"

Anonymous's picture
Carlos (not verified)
police station at River Road

Clearly from what people are saying, cyclists are not welcome at the RR police station. Given my experience last Wednesday and that of others since, maybe someone who can represent the NYCC should approach the station and find out how we can resolve the situation.

Anonymous's picture
Tony Rentschler (not verified)
OK for me today

I was there today, Saturday, about 10 a.m. and everything seemed perfectly normal. I got some water and used the bathroom, as did several other cyclists.

The only sign I saw was the one on the door which has been there all summer, asking that cyclists ride single-file on River Road, etc.

So, I don't know exactly what's going on there, although I do know that some of the cleaning and administrative staff tempers are somewhat frayed.

Anonymous's picture
Jay (not verified)
Bicycle Touring Club of North Jersey has a Pal Pk liaison rep

I think it is Irwin Rossman ??? I am out of the country right now but perhaps Stan Oldak or someones know the pres or other officers of that club...

Anonymous's picture
Richard Rosenthal (not verified)
Two PIPC muckety-mucks whose goodwill we want.

Jim Hall
[email protected]

I don't know what his exact title is but he is the Big Cheese.

Lynn Pearson
She's the administrative head of the PIPC's facility at Alpine, i.e. the River Road station.


When Pearson caterwauled about our splaying our bikes all over the place and we pointed out to her all the spaces in the bike rack were filled and suggested they get another rack, she summarily told us there was no space for another rack and they wouldn't get one. This was sometime last year.

Anonymous's picture
Carol Waaser (not verified)

I am planning to go out there next weekend and will see what the Club can do to re-establish good will and possibly get another bike rack.

Anonymous's picture
Richard Rosenthal (not verified)
Ideas and talking points for a meeting with the PIPC authorities

Good idea. Permit me to try to improve on it. Why not contact the president of the Northern NJ Bicycle Club, or whatever is the name of the one that also makes great use of the PIPC facility, and have them and any other area cycle clubs co-donate a rack and appear with you in a meeting with Lynn, who is the one who regularly hectors and remonstrates cyclists (and, ideally, with Jim Hall)? A united front representing a larger group, and all that. Divide the cost proportionally to the clubs' memberships.

You might ask Glenn, owner of Piermont Bicycle ([email protected]; (845) 365-0900), what are the other area clubs and how to contact them. Or Jay Jacobson ([email protected]).

It would not be a real note from me if I didn't make some controversial statement, so here goes. It is my surmise some of the antipathy towards us is based on the PIPC police and Lynn having to work while we come by in our spandex; they are not disposed to look kindly on those having fun and pleasure and recreation at the same time they're having to work. Also, of course, is the fact authority enjoys exercising its authority. Isn't that the attaction of seeking a job with authority?

Also, to some, god knows very slight, extent, we pose the potential of work to them. Never a good thing.

Fact: We do not violate the flower beds as we once did. The flower beds are a special interest of Lynn.

Fact: We do not obstruct the stair into the building as we once did. That was a supposed special grievence of the police who really were looking to simply express authority since the so-called obstructions never were that.

Fact: We seem to have been a lot more conscientious about maintaining the cleanliness of the men's washroom than in previous years.

This historical reminder: In the not too distant pass, there were many, many hours of the week River Road was closed to us. The reason: it was there for the convenience of boaters who were off-loading their boats and we shouldn't pose them a problem. It was in negotiating with the PIPC to open the road to us that we became obliged to wear helmets (and, I think, to not use that wonderful serpentine road up to Englewood Cliffs at the end of Hudson Terrace).

Can you imagine! This gorgeous road should be kept clear of the people who overwhelmingly are in the majority of those who use it for the sake of the very occasional boater. I'm sure it would please the authorities if no one used it. Less work for them.

Let us all begin any talk with the PIPC by thanking them for the wonderful re-surfacing of the road. I would like to learn of a more beautiful stretch of cycling in the U.S.? I don't know of one, and that includes the Big Sur coastline.

Anonymous's picture
Marcella (not verified)
I have another small suggestion

"Whenever I am in that station and see an officer, I go out of my way to smile and say ""thank you"". If there is no one in view, I go into the office and do the same thing - I find someone with whom to make eye contact, and acknowledge the job they do.

I hope that all NYCC members observe the rules to use the bike racks 100% of the time, etc, but I also certain that if 100% of the time, each one of us simply said 'thank you' for the provision of a needed service, we would build goodwill immediately. Call me Pollyanna, but kind words actually matter."

Anonymous's picture
Richard Rosenthal (not verified)
I wanted to delete part of my above post as soon as I wrote it.

"The ""edit"" function isn't working as I go to remove the acrimonious aside about the PIPC police. I do not find them and have never found them to be the least bit adversarial and regret suggesting otherwise, above. ...And regret that paragraph or two remains because I'm unable to delete it."

Anonymous's picture
Carlos (not verified)

I think this sounds like an excellent idea. I agree that all the cycling clubs concerned should co-pay for the additional bike rack.

Anonymous's picture
Hannah (not verified)
support with a caveat

I fully support all efforts to develop an ongoing positive relationship with the PIPC. However, I would be opposed to NYCC subsidizing a bike rack for any police station. If they are willing to install a new rack, I volunteer to research how they can get one without use of NYCC $$.

Hannah

Anonymous's picture
chris o (not verified)
Nearby alternative stop

If you go down Alpine hill, around the circle and all the way to the river, you will find a small building on the left with bathrooms (and water). This is closed through the winter season. Also, if you go through the parking lot and keep going north on the sidewalk/path, there is a water fountain near the last building on the left.

Anonymous's picture
Ed (not verified)
River Rd and the PIPC police

I agree that liaising with the PIPC is the wisest thing to do, and not just for this one ‘outburst’ over a locked bathroom. Joining with the Northern NJ group is a great idea, and asking for a meeting with the park official who is the point person seems sensible. Trying to meet with Jim Hall re: a dirty bathroom will seem annoying to him and may irritate Lynn, who is ostensibly responsible for the facility as a whole (not just the toilet or the fountain)? We are legitimate park users, the same as hikers and boaters, and Lynn should grant us an audience. If I took a census, I am sure that the ratio of boat trailers to bikers is 1:300.

For comparison, I will recount my running club’s experience with the PIPC. We have an annual marathon training run every September. We cross the GW and loop onto River Road and run up to Alpine. The more industrious of us will run from the Alpine Boat Basin traffic circle (where we have a water station) up to the police station. When our support person crossed the chain to drop the water, he was told that he had broken ‘umpteen’ laws and would be ticketed, all for dropping off some water jugs. (Not everyone has the energy to run up the hill to the fountain, and I believe that the boat basin facilities close after Labor Day.)

To say the least, the police were not friendly or supportive of the runners, so bikers are not alone in this. In addition, we were told that we need a permit to engage in this activity. And now given the (and here’s where I will restrain myself), excessively conscientious and diligent NYPD Central Park enforcement efforts, we should be mindful that the PIPC could require us to have permits should we be less than courteous in our use of its facilities. Is it unreasonable to assume that the PIPC Police have some inkling as to what is happening with the Central Park and Critical Mass activities? If so, is it more likely that they would feel emboldened than hesitant?

Anonymous's picture
Ed Ravin (not verified)

"A couple of days ago I spoke to Jim Hall, Palisades Interstate Parks Commission NJ superintendent, about the various River Road issues. I learned that:

* the bathrooms at the Alpine police station were closed earlier this month for a few days due to a water main break, not some evil plot against cyclists. (Thankfully, the evil plots against cyclists are currently only happening on the NYC side of the Hudson.)

* the Parks staff would like cyclists to ""share the road"", especially in yielding to overtaking vehicles on River Road, since this is a primary source of complaints. It's not Central Park - except for weekday mornings 8-noon on some portions, River Road is open to motor vehicles too.

* the Parks staff also ask that cyclists be considerate in their use of the bathrooms in the Alpine police station - since they have to clean it up at the end of the day.

In spite of his complaints, Mr. Hall was by no means anti-cyclist - he is a strong supporter of the bike path to built along Hudson Terrace to provide an off-street route from the GWB path to River Road. He was also thinking of installing an outdoor water fountain at the police station to take pressure off the inside bathrooms (i.e. so you could douse your head without leaving a big mess).

I hope to be working with the 5BBC, NYCC and other clubs to spread the word, and perhaps do other outreach to improve relations with the PIPC.

You can help by observing the above courtesies, and asking other cyclists on River Road to do the same. Please send me any other comments and suggestions you have on how to improve the situation.

-- Ed"

Anonymous's picture
Tim (not verified)
good to know

thanks Ed.

i haven't heard of the proposed bike path from GWB to the river road entrance. sounds good. i always hated riding that little stretch while cars squeezed by. do you know if that's going to be a reality?

Anonymous's picture
fendergal (not verified)

"This has been talked about for years. I haven't heard about it in a long while, so don't know where exactly it is in the planning/executing process.

Of course, if they just opened up the ""illegal entrance"" to cyclists, River Road would be much easier to access, but that's another story."

Anonymous's picture
Ed Ravin (not verified)

"The bike path project is complicated - there's Town of Fort Lee, PIPC, and Port Authority all involved. My understanding is that almost all the details have been worked out, and construction should start next year, at least on the larger part of it.

Fort Lee gets to widen Hudson River Terrace, something they've wanted to do for a long time. PIPC gives up parkland (about 4 feet of right-of-way) to the project. Fort Lee will build (and hopefully maintain) the bike path on PIPC property alongside the wider road.

That won't take us quite to the bridge - probably only to Ft. Lee Historic Park. The Port Authority land starts around there - they will have to construct the rest of the path. I haven't heard that they're fully onboard yet, but they seem to be coming along.

The closure of the Englewood Cliffs entrance of River Road to bicyclists dates back to 1989 or so when cyclists
in NYCC, TA, and AYH Bike Committee (now the 5BBC) negotiated the legalization of cycling on River Road. The Parks folks thought it was ""too dangerous"" for cyclists on the switchback - they envisioned bikers going
downhill crashing into boat trailers and the like (remember, that's a marina access road). The bike advocates at the time were happy that they'd gotten legal access to the rest of River Road and though they were unhappy about that restriction, accepted it as part of the compromise.
"

Anonymous's picture
Len Diamond (not verified)

Ed has it right, when we were negotiating with PIPC about gaining access there were many restrictions they wanted to impose. 2 biggies were no children (hence the wheel size restriction) and no access to the Englewood road because of the steepness and curves. You have to pick your battles and we figured the plusses of gaining access to River Road were worth it.

As for the argument that others made that PIPC only cares about the boaters, you are partly correct. PIPC is a Bistate agency that has to survive on the fees it can collect and the tolls from the parkway. The boaters are a source of revenue while cyclists only cost them money or at least that is how they perceive us.

Also the BTCNJ (Bicycle Touring Club of North Jersey) rarely uses River Road on club rides but I would be in favor of the clubs getting together and buying a rack. Firstly I think the clubs need to work together more and not think of each other as competition. Secondly it sends a very positive message to the PIPC and its local staff.

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