The Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge is now open in both directions. Now the walking and biking paths on the new bridge is being worked on. Still to be decided is if the path will be open 24 hours per day or from dusk to dawn. South Nyack Major Bonnie Christian mounted a fight against The New York State Thruway Authority to reconfigure the path on the Rockland side of the bridge and The Thruway Authority has changed the configuration in response to Nyack’s complaints.
According to an article in The Journal News entitled “The bridge path forward” by Matt Coyne on July 12, 2018, the future walking and biking path will be a shared use path. A ridge has been built into the right most of all Rockland bound lanes. The ridge will accommodate a future barrier separating vehicle traffic from pedestrian and cyclists. Once finished, the Thruway Authority has not committed to an opening date yet.
The path will feature lanes for pedestrians and bikers and six overlooks, each with a local historical or cultural theme. The article points out that the overlooks hold tourisms potential which could boost the economies of Tarrytown and Nyack.
Recreationally, the path connects to existing trails that make up the Empire State Trail running from New York City to Quebec border and Albany to buffalo. The path have other uses such as when a protest march is made across the bridge. The protestors would be on this path. The hours of operation is still being debated. Nyack’s Mayor, Christian wants the path open from dawn to dusk. She states “we don’t need people out there late, in the early morning hours”.
Daniel Convissor is the Director of Bike Tarrytown. He stated the path is more than just a fun ride between Westchester and Rockland. The path will connect Rockland’s Esposito Trail and the North County Trailway, South County Trailway and the Croton Aqueduct. Trails in Westchester will hold economic significance. Westchester residents who want to work in Rockland or vice versa who cannot afford a car could use the path to commute to work. Some residents might choose to bike to Tarrytown train station to catch a Metro-North or Hudson Line train rather than drive or take a bus. Mr. Convissor states “there’s hugh opportunity for people who live in one place and work in the other to have transportation between the two places. But only if the path is open 24 hours a day, otherwise, you might force bike commuters into tough situations.”
We will keep you posted on the Thruway Authority’s decision on the progress of the walking and biking path and the hours of operation.