Heads Up On By-Passing the First Set of Stairs on the NY Side of the GWB

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RSchmon's picture
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While we are relegated to the north sidewalk, and tempting as it is to ride the car ramp of the GWB on the NY side to avoid that first staircase, keep an eye out for police.  I am one of the tempted--but fortunately, I glanced behind just as I was about to go for it this morning and saw a police car emerge from some hidden spot as I certainly didn't see it prior. The police car then parked at the very point riders would hop that short wall and stayed there.  I took the staircase needless to say, but stopped and had a brief chat with them on the subject, and they made it clear riders will be ticketed if caught.  

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Interesting

I rode down the ramp in the wrong direction the other day. Two cop cars passed me but neither stopped. I guess, as usual, it depends what kind of mood they're in.

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On what basis?

I wonder what they are hanging their legal hats on. Cyclist are on a street, when crossing to the west cyclists are going in the correct direction (not so for eastbound of course) and cyclist are exiting the street prior to reaching the bridge. Where is the foul?

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The bridge is part of a

The bridge is part of a limited access highway on which cyclists are not permitted...even on the entrance ramp.

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I guess you are right.....but

When we used to hitch on the interstate we stood on the enterance ramps, couldn't stand on the interstate but the ramps were okay. A ramp was not the highway...yet. But that was way back then. However even today trucks park on the entrance ramps waiting for the scales to close.  If the boys in blue wanted to be useful they'd put out orange cones to keep the cars away from us, I mean whats the big deal?  Someone is more likely to be injured on the stairs then that little stretch of ramp.

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Low hanging fruit

Low hanging fruit discovered by some NYPD CrimeBuster.

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You think it's NYPD on the

You think it's NYPD on the bridge?

RSchoenbohm's picture
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Good question.

I was contemplating the same thing. If Carol is correct, and her logic seems reasonable, then who has jurisdiction for traffic enforcement on the bridge (and ramp of course)? 

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.

Seems to me the most relevant point here is that the police seemingly have better things to do, and could even apply fairer bicycle enforcement nearby to catch cyclists who aggressively blow through traffic controls in the area (which, as much as I'd like to have an unstopped path to the bridge, it's completely inappropriate, there are parents walking with strollers in the area and senior citizens out/about) instead of focusing on this.

It seems like it's enforcement designed to discourage us from riding, any way possible... we're not just an opportunity to write tickets because we are trying to cross the bridge and we're not in cars.

And although this isn't really a police issue, why isn't the PA just giving us part of the ramp with some well-placed barricades? That would help us a lot. 

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It's somewhat unclear

.

It's unclear if the OP/cops in question mean the first set of stairs (from the 2 lane on-ramp down to the side street w179 and Cabrini) which everyone ignores. I would consider using those only if I'm coming up from the greenway climb.
 
Or, the "First set" of stairs going under the on-ramp from RSD, which you do have to hop a wall (after you've dodged the traffic coming from the right). I've seen this maneuver done by pro racers, riders in a hurry, and other impotent people. It happens more often when the path/stairs itself is crowded and congested.
 
I saw this guy "go for it" a few weeks ago in front of a squad car parked on the left side of the 2 lane on ramp. The cops didn't budge- so maybe they were busy playing on their phones or didn't really want to chase him down?
 
I've not seen any police action around the "unofficial" 2 way bike path that runs adjacent to the narrow/crumbling sidewalk/curb that dumps you onto the chaos of Ft. Washington ave. (which does not require the hopping of wall.)
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Clarifying What I Meant by "First Set of Stairs"

In my OP, I was indeed referring to the stairs "from the 2 lane on-ramp down to the side street W179th and Cabrini" and I completely agree: everyone ignores it, including me--except under the circumstance I described above in which case I chose not to test them as it would have required me hopping the wall directly beside their car, but rather clarify whether the move was legal or not.  Further to my brief conversation with them, they told me there were two signs prohibiting bikes on that ramp--which I haven't looked for so I don't know where they are positioned, I'm just passing on their words.  But I haven't heard of one citation and we're all doing it--apparently in some cases with police cars present, so there's apparently an unofficial pass on this move, or the police simply aren't concerned about it, despite the comments from the officer I spoke with.    

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Does anyone know when the

Does anyone know when the south path is scheduled for re-opening? 

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I drove across the bridge

I drove across the bridge today and from the looks of what has been completed I'd guess next summer

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For your info...

The police car parked on the ramp on the New York Side  belongs to the cops that patrol of the bridge. You will sometimes see one on the Jersey side as well. They don't get on and off the bridge on foot. I have never seen a police officer inside one of those cars. As far as the staircase on 179th St., it is a mess over there. Lots of broken glass, plus the  stairs are disintegrating day by day. However, I use those stairs because I would rather take my chances over there than with speeding traffic! On a happier note, I was told that the workers are on schedule. They have been working diligently on weekends as well and a lot has been accomplished, hideous though it may look.

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It's on track for end-of-the-year

As reported today by PA Executive Director Cotton.

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