NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — There were new concerns Friday night about the new barriers installed on the West Side bike path since the terror attack earlier this week.

As CBS2’s Andrea Grymes reported, the New York state Department of Transportation installed the barriers to help them protect cyclists and pedestrians. But some say they make the popular route more dangerous.

The concrete barriers and orange barrels are the newest additions to the West Side bike path. They are meant to stop another truck attack after the one that killed eight people and injured a dozen more on the path in Lower Manhattan this past Tuesday.

Safety is the goal, but some say it has the opposite effect.

“It just makes it more unsafe,” said cyclist Bill Amstutz. “Someone’s going to get hurt.”

Amstutz said they have made the popular greenway more congested.

“I almost hit a couple of joggers because I couldn’t see them in the narrow openings they’ve created with the way they’ve placed the barriers,” he said.

The path is state land, so the state Department of Transportation started installing the barriers on Thursday. Some of them are straight, others diagonal.

It is a change from what it was before – an open stretch along the Hudson River.

It’s much more of an obstruction than it is a safety deterrent,” a cyclist said.

The state DOT said they, along with the city and Hudson River Park Trust, moved “as quickly as possible to enhance the security of the bike path in the immediate aftermath of the terror attack this week.”

They call the concrete barriers a short-term solution.

“I think what was originally put in in the last day or so needs some revision to make sure people can still ride their bikes,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said. “Obviously we want safety and security, but we also want people to go about their lives.”

The union representing parks enforcement patrol officers said barriers are long overdue. They say drunken drivers and other cars often end up on the bike path.

“This should definitely give a wake-up call to everyone that enough’s enough,” said Joe Puleo, President of Local 983.

Cyclist Andrew Lausten missed the terror attack on Tuesday by just minutes.

“I have tears in my eyes coming down here seeing these barricades, because I know the reason why they’re there,” he said.

He welcomes the protection.

“If someone wants me to be safer and this is the way to do it, it’s a good intention, you know — and I think it’s a great idea,” he said.

You may see similar barriers pop up in other places as well. Mayor de Blasio said he has instructed the NYPD and the DOT to look at other spots in the city that need similar enforcement.

Comments (2)
  1. Nicole Kruck says:

    The stupidity of the DOT to put these barricades in without understanding the usage is EXTREMELY MORE dangerous!!! Especially for the diagonal ones on the path, there is no space to safely ride with other on the path. It seems like it is just a bike path with maximal space of 2 riders going south and 2 going north. However, MANY Runners, Pedestrian, Dogs, Walkers, and Tourist, new illegal motorized skateboarders, are ALL using this small space on the bike!
    To the bikers it’s like thowing these barricards out into the middle of the Westside HWY traffic that is what it is now like to bike on the path. There was already not enough space to safely ride and now it is impossible.
    THere were notices on Friday on the barricades that if you thought they were unsafe please call or text the number. Well, when I call Friday at 2:00pm the mailbox was full and I got no response from my text. Th 311 number just referred me back to the NYC website.
    There are already accidents on the path daily and most people are stupid to think they don’t need a helmet because they are riding on the path. I have been hit and run over by several bikes passing as I have tried not to hit runners of people that do not know how to properly ride the path by. Please help to investigate this further!!!!!
    Thank you

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