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Study Examines Shared Use Path Between George Washington, Cuomo Bridges

A study examining the feasibility of a 20-mile path for bicyclists and pedestrians connecting two of the largest bridges in the region is expected to be completed within the year.

Map of Palisades Shared Use Path study areaLois Goldman, Director of Long Range Transportation Planning at the NJTPA, presented an update on the Palisades Shared Use Path Study to the NJTPA’s Project Prioritization and Planning and Economic Development committees during their April 15 joint meeting. The study led by the New York Metropolitan Transportation Council (NYMTC) is examining the potential for creating a path on the west side of the Hudson River between the Gov. Mario M. Cuomo Bridge, formerly the Tappan Zee, in Rockland County and the George Washington Bridge (GWB) in Fort Lee. NYMTC is the Metropolitan Planning Organization for New York City as well as Putnam, Rockland, and Westchester Counties. The NJTPA is assisting with the study.

The impetus for the study was the renovation last year of the GWB pathway for bicyclists and pedestrians. There’s always been a lot of cyclists particularly on the west side of the Hudson, up Route 9W and into New York, Goldman said. The idea is to look at some potential alignments, particularly some of the physical and topographical challenges as it can be very steep along the Palisades.

The study area is divided into five distinct segments, four of which are in New Jersey:
  • Fort Lee
  • Englewood Cliffs
  • Alpine Lookout
  • Borough of Alpine
  • Rockland County
The study is looking at segments individually as well as together to come up with some options, Goldman said. The potential path is closely aligned with the NJTPA’s Active Transportation Plan completed last June, which lays out a conceptual network of what a bicycle network would look like in the NJTPA’s 13-county region.

Three visioning workshops held virtually in March drew more attendance from residents of New York than New Jersey, according to Goldman. Bergen County serves on the study’s Advisory Committee and 14 towns along the route have been invited to serve on the committee. “We want to make sure communities in New York and in New Jersey are on board with this study," she said.

Union County Commissioner Bette Jane Kowalski, Vice Chair of the Planning and Economic Development Committee, asked if there would be separate paths for people walking and biking.

“It’s a shared use path but we don’t preclude anything at this point in terms of what that might be in the future; the objective is a shared use path," Gerry Bogacz, NYMTC’s Assistant Director of Planning and Program Management, said. “Safety is a big part of this, so clearly any type of separation between the modes is something we will look at, no question.”

A draft study report with findings and draft recommendations is expected by fall, when additional public meetings will be held. A final report is slated for completion by winter 2025. For additional information, visit www.palisadespathstudy.com.
Posted: 4/23/2024 3:25:27 PM by Mark Hrywna | with 0 comments