Battery Park bike loop


Cyclists should finally have an easy way to navigate Lower Manhattan’s southern tip when Battery Park gets a new bike path in 2011 thanks to a $2.5 million federal transportation grant.

The grant, announced last week, provides the last piece of funding the Battery Conservancy needs for the $16 million project, which also includes landscaping and relocating monuments.

“We’re thrilled,” said Warrie Price, president of the conservancy. “We will finally be able to link west to east.”

The bike path will connect to the one that runs along the Hudson River through Battery Park City and will then cut through the northern edge of Battery Park, running on the outside of Peter Minuit Plaza and feeding into the path that goes along the East River. Today, cyclists making that trip frequently come into conflict with vehicles traveling out of the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel or reaching the end of the F.D.R. Dr. The new path will provide a protected route with gardens on either side.

The conservancy first started planning for the bike path many years ago, but the Metropolitan Transportation Authority put that project on hold so they could build the tunnel to the new South Ferry station beneath the park. The conservancy lost some of their funding because of the delay, but the new federal funds, combined with money from the state Dept. of Transportation, the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. and others will now get the project moving forward.

“The bikeway is very much on the fast track,” Price said.

The bike path design is complete and Price expects to bid the project this year and start construction at the beginning of 2010. It will take a year to complete.

— Julie Shapiro