Thursday, May 27, 2010

☞ Tour: Harlem's Uptown Bike Lanes

We often rent out bikes to ride along Riverside Park but this week's New York Times article on extended lanes in East Harlem had us wondering what are the main paths in Harlem? The above photos show the wide paths from West 96th to the more rural looking sections underneath the George Washington Bridge at West 178th Street (that's the Little Red Lighthouse). This park path is fine for a leisurely weekend but what are the options for serious commuter in Harlem?

Looking at the NYC bike map, there only seems to be a couple of main avenues for most cycle enthusiast. FDB/8th Avenue is the main course to take from 110th Street to 120th at which St. Nicholas Avenue becomes the main path (all the way up to Washington Heights). For east to west connections, 119th and 120th Street is apparently the way to go. East Harlem's north to south bike course adjoins to the Upper East Side along 1st Avenue. The NY Times article confirms that another course along 2nd Avenue is forthcoming and the city has the eventual goal of connecting both east side avenues to Houston Street: LINK. View the NYC bike map: LINK. Photos by Ulysses


  1. Sorry I didn't see this earlier. I commute every day to 125th between 7th & 8th from further uptown.

    There's the (west side) Hudson River Greenway connecting to the street grid at Dyckman, 181st, 158th, 135th, and W Harlem Piers Park, then 102nd St.

    There's the (east side) Harlem River Greenway connecting at Dyckman at the north end and to the Harlem River Drive southbound access road at the south, near 163rd St. That connects to Edgecombe and 155th at the top of the hill and to FDB by the Polo Grounds Houses (past the 155th D train stop) at the bottom of the hill.

    Going uptown: Morningside Ave/Manhattan Ave are best from 106th St to 125th St. At 123rd Manhattan merges with St. Nick and you can get on the bike lane there all the way up to 168th St, or stay on Morningside as it becomes Convent. Convent is quiet all the way to CCNY and beyond, make a right on 150th to dogleg onto St. Nick to go further uptown.

    Downtown: take Edgecombe from 168th St to 142nd St, then eastward to the Armory, where you can hop on the FDR access road to go all the way down to 132nd St & Park Ave, then stay along the median all the way downtown to 96th St.

    Or, take FDB downtown from Polo Grounds Houses to 155th St, dogleg onto Bradhurst along Jackie Robinson Park to avoid cross traffic, then go back east on 146th to ACP and straight downtown to Central Park.

    Or, at Edgecombe and 155th, take St. Nicholas Place down to 151st, then dogleg west to Convent, and at 140th, turn left onto St. Nicholas Terrace to go along the top of St. Nick Park. At 128th St you can go left down the lane to St. Nick Ave and catch up with the bike lane there, then stay on Manhattan Ave at 123rd down to 108th, where there's a gate into Central Park.

  2. Bike commuting from harlem is easy and fun. I work at the African Burial Ground on Duane street, and my commute from Sugar Hill is appoximately forty joyous minutes down the west side bike path. One major gripe: The MTA police at 145 and st. nicks use and seem to encourage the use of the St. Nicks bike path as a parking lot. Something must be done to stop them.