About 75 cyclists gathered in the cool spring morning, and donned vests that read “Lower LG” for a ride organized by the NJ Bike Walk Coalition and co-sponsored by Bike New York, which runs the Five Boro Bike Tour.
About 40 riders from the Bicycle Touring Club of North Jersey also backed the ride.
The cyclists say they are opposed to the planned building because it will rise above the historically agreed building level of the adjacent Palisades Park, promised when Nelson Rockefeller bought and deeded the land over to the seven-mile long natural park situated between Route 9W, the Palisades Parkway, and the Hudson River.
But LG Electronics has refused to respect what is in essence American tradition and a an agreement that is deemed sacred for the protection of the landscape, and is moving ahead with its plans after receiving a special variance from a planning group–that was later disbanded perhaps to avoid criticism–in Englewood Cliffs, NJ.
The height of the planned tower is the biggest concern for all of the opponents to the plan.
Said ride leader Andreas Tiribocchia, who is himself a corporate strategist and businessperson, “We don’t have any problem with LG, we welcome any development of new business in the area, and the creation of jobs. But we aspire to reach a balance between economic development and the conservation of our natural landscape.”
Tirinocchi who is also a ride leader for the Bicycle Touring Club of North Jersey lead the mixed group, including some representation from Five Boro Bicycle Club, and New York Cycle Club whose members were most likely diminished because of a ride going on at the same time in Brooklyn to honor the life of Bike New York co-founder and 5BBC member Steve Faust who passed away in late March.
After announcing the rules of the ride which included riding single file and obeying traffic signals (which the riders from Transportation Alternatives quickly “forgot” when they reached Route 9W–there’s always some in the bunch) the group headed out, and stopped in front of the LG construction site located midway to Route 9W on Hudson Terrace. The land is the old site of a Chase Bank processing center which has since been sold, where construction is beginning.
Cyclists crossed the road en masse to approach the site, and nearly got mowed over by speeding drivers, a reminder that the area is still not safe for cyclists, one of the key areas of concern for the groups when car traffic increases along the heavily used roadway.
NJ Bike Walk Coalition’s executive director has repeatedly said that
the addition of this massive new facility will not only add tremendous amounts of new traffic to Hudson Terrace–a heavily traveled cycling route that is used daily–but will also increase congestion and spew almost 50 percent of people who need to work at the facility to park on the surrounding streets.
Currently about 1,500 cyclists travel along Hudson Terrace in each direction on weekend days.
After posing for a group shot the cyclists took off for a 12.5 mile ride to Route 9W Market in Palisades, NY, which is situated just over the state line between New Jersey and New York, and is only a few miles north of the end of the Palisades Park.
A table was set up by Joe Rappaport who represents Protect the Palisades, where we was quickly gathering signatures against the new structure.