Need a route through Manhattan

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Anonymous's picture

Hi. My name is Ed Boyle and I'm a member of the Bicycle Club of Philadelphia and a 2004 Cross Country self contained cyclist. I'm doing a benefit ride from Philadelphia to near Hartford Ct. and I was wondering if you had an archived ride, or if you could suggest a route into lower Manhattan and out again on the north end heading for central Connecticut (I'll be stopping at Sloan-Kettering hospital along the way). I can figure out the rest of the ride. I appreciate any help you can give me. Thanks, Ed

Anonymous's picture
Ron Gentile (not verified)
Route into Manhattan

Getting through Manhattan is relatively easy. You could take the East River bike path to its end at 34th St., then take York Ave. up to the hospital, then take 1st Ave. into the Bronx (Willis Ave. Bridge) or take 119th St. west to 3rd Ave. and go over the 3rd Ave. Bridge.

The big question is how you will get into Manhattan. After Newark, getting through the Meadowlands (the marshes near Secaucus, NJ) is notoriously difficult and potentially dangerous. There are only a few bridges crossing the marshes and they are not bike-friendly. You may want to consider taking the NJ Transit train from New Brunswick, NJ into Penn Station, NY. We won't tell anyone you used transit.

If you're determined not to use transit, your best bet is to stay west of the Newark area and cross into NY at the George Washington Bridge, then head south through Manhattan to the hospital. It will be quite a bit longer that way. If you prefer to do it that way, I'm sure someone here can offer a specific route.

Hope that helps.

Anonymous's picture
Avi Robinson (not verified)
Newark to GWB

Hi Ed,

I agree with everything Ron said, with one exception - you can comfortably bike all the way to Newark before taking the train to midtown.

If you choose to bike from Newark to the GWB, there are many ways to get from here to there, and finding the perfect one is sort of like locating the Northwest Passage. The main thing to focus on is the river crossings. You should cross the Hackensack River in Hackensack so that you can take Degraw Ave. straight from Hackensack to Fort Lee and the bridge. You have more options for the Passaic River, but considering that the West Bank is much nicer than the East Bank, I would cross it as far north as possible. I prefer to cross in Passaic.

Here's the route that I prefer:

Newark>Belleville>Nutley>Passaic (cross Passaic River on Passaic St. bridge)>Lodi>Rochelle Park>Hackensack (cross Hackensack River on Main St. bridge)>Bogota>Leonia>Fort Lee.

Total distance from Newark to GWB is about 25 miles.

Once you cross the GWB we have a cue sheet in our ride library that will get you to Central Park. Best of luck and please email if I can help further.

Anonymous's picture
Isaac (not verified)


Welcome to New York! Are you alone or with a group?

Here's a link to some good resources:

To get back out of Manhattan, check out the CT/Westchester rides from our library. Note that mnay use the Grand Concourse as a through route in The Bronx. Most club rides are weekend mornings. Other times, the Concourse gets busy with motor vehicle traffic. Consider the Broadway Bridge as your alternate, then work your way east. (I also do not recommend the ""speedway"" section of the greenway on the east side (145th to Dyckman). Three miles with no exits. Isolated and glassy.)"

Anonymous's picture
carl (not verified)
East Coast Greenway

The following shows some of the ideas that the East Coast Greenway group is developing to get from NJ to NY:

Anonymous's picture
Matt (not verified)

You can try SeaStreak ferry boat from Atlantic Highlands, NJ, to E. 34th St. in Manhattan. (I sent you an e-mail through this message board. Let me know if you did not get it.)

Anonymous's picture
Claudette (not verified)
The ferry

The ferry is great and fast and comfortable. They have a place for your bike and gear and it will save you considerable angst.

Anonymous's picture
joe (not verified)
i second seastreak...

it's bike friendly and you can enjoy some nicer routes heading to Highlands, NJ. Get off at the Pier 11 (Wall Street stop) and enjoy the seaport and lower manhattan on your ride north.

Anonymous's picture
Josh (not verified)
into lower Manhattan


When I biked a few times to Philly from Manhattan, we traveled back once on Rt. 1/9 over the Goethals, then across the SI ferry to lower Manhattan.The bike path on the Goethals (a real mess back then) was closed recently for repairs and renovation and is scheduled to open soon -- if not already. Anyone know when?

What's good about the Goethals, by the way, is that it connects with route 9 (which takes you along the coast to Highland, Point Pleasant, or Atlantic City) or Route 1 (New Brunswick and Princeton) immediately once over into NJ.

Anonymous's picture
Evan Marks (not verified)

It's a pity there's no good way to get to Staten Island from the south - you could take the ferry, which is free - other than guerilla bridge crossings which could get you killed. By the time you get far enough north to skirt the worst of the meadowlands craziness you might as well just cross the GWB. Seastreak seems like your only other sane option.

Goethals? No, sorry:

Anonymous's picture
John Feinberg (not verified)
My NJ route into Manhattan: Nutley -> GWB

I've been riding into Manhattan from Nutley NJ for years using this route. It has got more than a few turns, but it's quite a nice ride and I enjoy it.

There's a google map with the route that shows up first, with a cue sheet below the map.

John F

Anonymous's picture
Edoin Srudelo (not verified)
Misinformation, misinformation, misinformation

"Don't trust the guy who told you to get onto York Avenue at 34th Street. I don't think he's a joker. I just think he's smoking Sassy Susan Loco Weed. York Avenue doesn't start until 59th Street. (Or is it 60th Street?)

However, he didn't lead you that far off the path, either. You can get off at 34th Street and follow First Avenue northward -- often not a pleasant experience, especially during weekdays and rush hours. There is a bicycle lane on the left side of First Avenue as you head north. It's easy to find. Just look for all the trucks double parked in it.

""Wait a second, Field Marshall, Sir. I suspect these native guides are working for the enemy.""
--Sergeant Pepovic

Your Pal,
Etoain Shrdlu"

Anonymous's picture
ben t (not verified)

I used to commute up 1st avenue every day. I found it to be a great way to head north through Manhattan especially compared to the other avenues. Sure there is a lot of traffic, but it is also very wide with relatively few bridge or tunnel enterances, so traffic easily goes around you. Just stay to one side or the other. The right side has the advantage of many fewer intersections than the left, but you have to deal with buses. The left side has no buses but many more intersections.

Anonymous's picture
Isaac (not verified)

"""Avenue A"" (aka York Avenue) continues from 59th to 53rd and is known as ""Sutton Place""."

Anonymous's picture
Edoin Srudelo (not verified)
But Avenue A Ends At 14th Street

"The ""bike path"" along the East River begins to piddle out at 23rd Street. You can then continue North to 34th Street by paralleling the river's edge past docks, a gas station, an apartment complex, a private school and a floating restaurant, not necessarily in that order.

However, ""Avenue A"" will be long gone from your route possibilities, if it ever was there. There are a few things in the way:

A Con Ed plant, for example. The United Nations complex for another. Two UN Plaza apartment buildings for a third. Beekman Place for yet another. Did I mention an exit ramp on East 53rd Street for the East River Drive?

You doubt my word? Pull out a freaking street map, for goodness sakes!

Sheesh, how much does Miss Mary Jane's Marvelous Miracle Tea cost these days? You're sure imbibing a lot of it.

""Misinformation has a life of its own. On the other hand you can murder truth sometimes by just burning down a library.""
--Mislevicz the Deconstructionist

Your Pal,
Etoain Shrdlu"

Anonymous's picture
Ron Gentile (not verified)

I stand corrected. Maybe I was thinking of 59th St...after the third cup of Miracle Tea they all start to look alike.

Anonymous's picture
Isaac (not verified)

"My linotyping friend:

Avenue A. (part) Retains its original name only from Houston to 14th Streets. All the rest has been either renamed or discontinued, as follows: From 14th to 20th Streets, demapped for Stuyvesant Town in 1945. From 20th to 23rd Streets, demapped for Peter Cooper Village in 1947. From 23rd to 25th Streets, changed to Asser Levy Place in 1954. From 53rd to 54th Streets, added to Sutton Place South in 1951. From 54th to 57th Streets, changed to Sutton Place South in 1925. From 57th to 60th Streets, changed to Sutton Place in 1897. From 59th to 93rd Steets, changed to York Avenue in 1928. From 92nd to 93rd Streets became part of East River Drive in 1937. From 100th to 106th Streets demapped in 1875. From 109th Street to Harlem River, changed to Pleasant Avenue in 1879 See also Paladino Avenue and Vito Marcantonio Avenue.

At least one building on York has ""Avenue A"" chiseled in its facade."

Anonymous's picture
jmf (not verified)

The West Side bike path along the Hudson is contiguous up to Dyckman Street, and is fairly wide. The West Side path can be preferable to the path on the East Side that requires you to ride on 1st Ave for a distance. When the weather is nice, all of these bike paths can be filled with inattentive pedestrians, barbecuers, frisbee throwers, and kids. Riverside Drive is a nice alternative to the West Side path, but it only begins at 72nd St. and ends just after the GWB.

There is a route from NYC to New Haven in our ride library that takes you up through Westchester County to US 6, but that avoids the Freeway portions of US 6. On this cue sheet, there is a turn-off in Sandy Hook, CT to CT-34 but if you turn L instead of right at that intersection, you can follow roads through to Hartford. Don't know all the details exactly but you can map it from Sandy Hook to Hartford with, etc. The road to the left leads to a bridge that crosses the Housatonic River. To the right (CT-34) there is some nice scenery, but it would probably take you out of your way & the shortest route to Hartford would require climbing a ludicrously steep hill on CT-188 after crossing the Housatonic River at the Stevenson Dam further south.

If you travel through New Haven, Whitney Ave => CT-10 is a fairly flat road that will get you to Hartford, but it is a bit of a busy -but not completely impossible- road near New Haven. Going through New Haven would add significant mileage, though.

Anonymous's picture
Ed Boyle (not verified)

Thank you one and all for your input in getting me to and through Manhattan. The GWB and Seastreak seem to be the best options for me and, although I'm pretty much a purist, I think I'll go with Seastreak into Manhattan. I hope this Thank You makes it to all who replied. Be safe and keep pedaling. Ed

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