2017/02 – Cycle Tourism

Also see Linear Park

Between the Empire State Trail and the Mario M. Cuomo Bridge, New York State will invest $500 million in active transportation across the Low-Mid Hudson Valley.  But regional tourism could show a net decline if an overcrowded GWB ceased to function as a cycling facility.

Chairman Degnan, consider the impact of wider GWB paths on cycle tourism.

Governor Cuomo underlined its value, and plans to promote it, in his Mid-Hudson State of the State address:1

“We’ve spent a lot of money on tourism and we’ve gotten a tremendous return. We invested $150 million in “I Love New York” and received a $102 billion in tourism.

Now, we want to build the largest state multi-use trail in the nation: the Empire State Trail. It would go from Albany to Buffalo and New York City up to the Canadian border – 750 miles.

I believe it would change the economy through the Hudson Valley and Erie Canal corridor. Every $1 million invested in multi-use trails creates 9.6 jobs. The total trail will cost $200 million.”


Between the Empire State Trail and the Mario M. Cuomo Bridge, NY will invest $500 million in active transportation across the Low-Mid Hudson Valley.2

But revenues from cycle tourism could show a net decline if an overcrowded GWB ceased to function as a cycling facility.3

With the opening of the Mario M. Cuomo, the GWB will bracket a 40 mile loop drawing thousand of cyclists a day through the Bronx and Upper Manhattan.

A robust GWB would further leverage the PA’s $275 million investment in the Goethals and Bayonne Bridges by connecting Hudson, Essex, Union, Middlesex and Monmouth counties to the East Coast Greenway.4 5

Cycling blogs have highlighted the GWB’s importance to the region, calling it our “crown jewel of recreational cycling.”6 7

And elected officials continue to rally to the cause. Manhattan CB #7, on the Upper West Side, became the eighth to call for wider paths. Daniel Garodnick, representing the Upper East Side, became the twelfth City Councilmember.

These districts flank Central Park, which has become so crowded that cycling groups must limit training rides to weekday mornings, making GWB access even more necessary.8  Communities calling for wider paths now form a horseshoe around the GWB from Hell’s Kitchen to Yonkers and Englewood Cliffs to Edgewater.

Widened GWB paths allows our region to receive maximum benefit from the Governor’s initiatives as well as from the PA’s own investments in active transportation.

Thank you.

Neile Weissman, 2017


  • NYC has 828,000 active adult cyclists and no recreational facilities not shared with pedestrians.  The GWB remains their sole access to bikeable roads and green space west of the Hudson.
  • Bergen is moving forward on a Master Plan to connect its million residents right of ways in with County greenway network to each other and the George.
  • When the mixed use path on the Mario M. Cuomo Bridge comes online in 2019 , the GWB will bracket a 42 mile loop drawing thousands of recreational cyclists from across the region.
  • linear park across the GWB, similar to the Walkway over the Hudson, would annually attract 290,000 visitors, spending $42 million and sustaining 675 local jobs.
  • The GWB will be the nexus of the 1650-mile Tri-State Trail Network, an aggregate of in-progress and completed facilities announced by Regional Plan Association in September 2017.

Screen Shot 2017-09-24 at 2.41.38 PM.pngImage Regional Plan Association.


[1] “Video, Photos & Rush Transcript: Governor Cuomo Delivers his 2017 Regional Mid-Hudson State of the State Address,” New York State, 1/10/17, http://tinyurl.com/h4elxm9

[2] The estimated cost of the bike path across the New Tappan Zee is $440 million — 11% of the project’s $4 billion budget.

[3] According to a 2013 Rutgers study, active transportation (biking and walking) contributes $500 million per year to NJ’s economy, or $56 per capita.  Extending that to the 3.1 million residents the Lower-Mid Hudson Valley equals $174 million per year., The Economic Impacts of Active Transportation in New Jersey, USDOT-FHWA-Rutgers Universityhttp://tinyurl.com/oednylm

[4] “Providing bicycle and pedestrian access on the new Goethals and Bayonne Bridge represents a total commitment of [$275-330 million].,” various correspondence, PA Director of Bridges and Tunnels, Cedrick Fulton

[5] The East Coast Greenway links major cities along the Eastern Seaboard from Florida to Maine, http://www.greenway.org

[6] “I’m back and things have only gotten worse. The George Washington Bridge,” Bike Snob, 2/6/17, http://tinyurl.com/ho8x7vw

[7] “Help Make the George Washington Bridge in NYC Better for Cyclists,” The Radavist, 1/29/17, http://tinyurl.com/gvtwb9n

screen-shot-2017-01-29-at-10-1-40-27-am (1).jpgPhoto by Donalrey on Instagram

[8] Cycling Protocol for Central Park, http://tinyurl.com/jxj3lm3