Fear and Luminescence on a New York Bike Trail
Navigating through New York's most popular bike trail at night
My commute to campus along the Hudson Waterfront Greenway has been my favorite part of my weekdays this summer. I bike through pockets of serenity - flower gardens and riverfronts, tunnels and bridges, tai-chi classes and tango lessons, dog walkers, and power walkers. The rides that I look forward to in the mornings are starkly different riding experiences at night. While the views of the cityscapes from the waterfront are breathtaking, as a woman riding alone at night, the experience is marked by caution and sometimes fear of what is cloaked by the darkness. I documented my experience on the Hudson Greenway Trail on one such night ride.
Based on my own riding experience on this trail, I believe that more lighting along the bike trails, especially at the dark area near 79th, would make me feel safer. While I can see the necessity to separate bicycles and pedestrians to reduce accidents, the current detour via Riverside is not the answer to that issue. Similar to the Promenade, we need a well-lit, well-paved path that takes cyclists' requirements into account and encourages more bikers to use the route at night, making the path safer for everyone.