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First Crossing on the SUP: A Noisy Path With Great Views

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June 11, 2020

By Dean Gallea –

I was in the first pack of bicyclists to head through the gates of the newly-opened Shared-Use Path (SUP) on the Mario M. Cuomo (aka Tappan Zee) bridge at 2:00 pm today, June 15th. (Well, at 2:03, since they had a bit of trouble with the padlock on the gate.) It was a pretty amazing ride! The path affords sweeping views of the Hudson River and its shorelines to the North, and of the Villages of Tarrytown and Nyack near the endpoints.

Work for The Hud Indy
Cuomo Bridge SUP Opening

The SUP is a bit narrower than I expected, though one bike lane in each direction can be maintained within the zone designated for bikes, closest to the wall that separates the SUP from traffic. I learned that it’s permissible for a bicycle to stray briefly into the walking zone to pass a slow cyclist, but care must be taken to give walkers ample clearance.  This is true especially at the belvederes, where people (kids particularly) may step back onto the path suddenly without looking. The speed limit for all is 15 MPH, and you might have to use your brakes in a few sloped sections to avoid coasting faster than that.

Speaking of  slopes, I was surprised to find that, although there’s only a barely-noticable slope in the path between the Tarrytown entrance and the bridge span, there’s quite a long climb Eastbound from the Nyack terminus to the bridge. It’s a good workout for thigh and calf muscles!

Along the 3.6-mile pathway, I paused at each of six lookout points (dubbed “belvederes”), which serve as rest stops with views. Each has a different River-based theme and structural design, giving a unique personality, and they are better shielded from the considerable traffic noise, allowing for conversation. There is shade and seating, and a touch-screen kiosk at each provides some history and imagery supporting the theme.

While there are plans for more food concessions at each end, there was a tea and coffee stand at the Nyack end, and a Italian ice stand in Tarrytown. And both Welcome Centers have rest rooms and water fountains. There are wide gathering spots near the ends (for when we are able to gather again!), and sculptures to add some visual interest. And limited public parking is available for those who might be driving in, but don’t count on it!

So, whether you are a cyclist or a walker, the SUP is a new Wonder to put on your list of must-dos for Tarrytown and Nyack.

Opinion: As a member of Bike Tarrytown, I must say that there are some changes that would be welcome, the most important of which is to create a safe, controlled crosswalk at the Tarrytown terminus for those cyclists wishing to continue North up Broadway (Route 9) to the Village shops and restaurants. As is, they have to first go South one block and across the Bridge entrance ramp to the nearest crosswalk, then cross Broadway and ride North. But the temptation is to cross – unsafely – right at the SUP exit. Let’s see how long it takes until the wisdom of putting a crosswalk there becomes apparent.

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