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Changes to Henry Hudson On-Ramp Too Dangerous, Residents Say

By Carla Zanoni | April 14, 2011 6:35pm

By Carla Zanoni

DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

WASHINGTON HEIGHTS — The newly renovated and redesigned on-ramp to the Henry Hudson Parkway from Riverside Drive is too dangerous for pedestrians and bicyclists who want to access the Hudson River Greenway, some residents warn.

That's because bags of garbage piled up weekly on the sidewalk in front of 1380 Riverside Drive force people to walk in the street, and an additional lane of parking recently added by the city squeezes bikes into the midst of traffic.

Plus, the only way for people to access the Greenway is by crossing Riverside Drive, right before it turns into the highway. And for cyclists who want to leave the Greenway, they now have to ride against oncoming cars.

Michelle Ng, who lives nearby with her husband and 5-year-old twins, said she tries to avoid the intersection as much as possible, because of the limited sidewalk space and fast moving cars that accelerate as they're about to enter the highway.

"Sometimes I can't walk fast enough to make the light with everyone in tow," she said.

Residents say they would like to see additional safety measures — new bike lanes, speed bumps or a longer timed light — introduced as soon as possible, before someone is hurt.

Requests for comment from the Department of Sanitation and Department of Transportation were not immediately returned.

Rita McKee, a Washington Heights resident and former member of CB12, said the situation is frustrating for drivers and pedestrians alike, but for bicyclists most of all.

"It's not bad enough that…cyclists don't have any protected lanes in WaHi, or any safe way to get to/from school or from Greenway to Greenway," she wrote in an email. "Now even our best access to cycling, the Hudson River Greenway, is a real problem."

The public will get a chance to weigh in on bike lanes and other safety issues at a public forum on the issue scheduled for June 16, which was was announced Thursday by Community Board 12's traffic and transportation committee.