Parks Department Closes Off Car-Free High Bridge With No Explanation [Updated]

The High Bridge, which links the Bronx to Upper Manhattan, is another piece of bike transportation infrastructure that the Parks Department treats like a recreational facility.

Photo: Bike Snob
Photo: Bike Snob

The Parks Department has shut entry to the High Bridge, cutting off a key biking and walking link between the Bronx and Upper Manhattan.

[Update: As of 4:00 p.m. Tuesday, the Parks Department says the High Bridge is open. A department spokesperson said the bridge, which must be cleared of snow and ice by hand, was closed due to a “communication error.”]

Eben Weiss, a.k.a. Bike Snob, tweeted a photo of the bridge entrance blocked by a gate late this morning. There was no notice of the closure from the Parks Department Twitter account.

Like the Hudson River Greenway, the High Bridge is a piece of transportation infrastructure that the Parks Department treats like a recreational facility.

The High Bridge connects Washington Heights and the Highbridge neighborhood in the Bronx. It was reopened to the public in 2015 after sitting idle for 45 years, thanks to a years-long restoration project initiated by the Bloomberg administration.

Despite demand for 24/7 access, the Parks Department only allows people to use it from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., with unspecified seasonal adjustments. When the bridge was reopened three years ago, Parks officials left open the possibility of expanding access, but that hasn’t happened.

Streetsblog has asked Parks why and when the bridge was closed and when it will be reopened. TransAlt Bronx Organizer Erwin Figueroa posed the question on Twitter. We’ll update this post as soon as we receive a response.


Speak Up for an Accessible Car-Free High Bridge

In other parks news, as reported on Streetsblog in June, the car-free High Bridge is poised to undergo a long-awaited restoration. Built as part of the Croton Aqueduct, the bridge connects Washington Heights in Manhattan with the Bronx neighborhood of High Bridge, near Yankee Stadium. In April, during his PlaNYC unveiling, Mayor Bloomberg announced that the city would be […]