May is National Bike Month, a celebration of biking as transportation. Our travel patterns and preferences have changed substantially over the last year and traveling by bicycle has become an even more popular way to get around. Meatpacking will be sharing bike content all month long encouraging you to give biking a try. Read on to see how to get to the neighborhood from any part of the city.
The Meatpacking District looks forward to welcoming more and more two-wheeled vehicles into the neighborhood. While there are already a total of 348 Citi Bike docks at eight stations around the district, our partners at the New York City Department of Transportation (NYC DOT) and Citi Bike, have also installed additional stations in the district as part of the program’s expansion. New bike sleds have been added to the neighborhood, increasing the number of bike racks available for those arriving into the neighborhood on personal bikes. These improvements make Meatpacking a more accommodating place for cycling.
A major part of increasing people’s comfort with cycling around the City is the network of protected bike lanes that now cross Manhattan. With many major protected lanes traversing the neighborhood the Meatpacking District is well-positioned as a destination for all New Yorkers to reach by bike.
From Chelsea/Uptown & the Bronx
The Ninth Avenue protected bike lane extends (with a few interruptions) from W.110th Street – Cathedral Parkway to Meatpacking. This route is protected, meaning there is physical separation between cyclists and automobiles but the route travels down a busy Avenue with cross-town traffic. For a smoother ride from points north, the Hudson River Greenway is the faster and more scenic way to get to the neighborhood. As an added bonus travelers along the Greenway pass some dramatic sites, including the aircraft carrier Intrepid, the Starrett-Lehigh building, Chelsea Piers, and the soon to open Little Island at W.13th Street.
The Greenway is your best bet for a convenient and car-free route to the neighborhood, however for a quaint ride, consider biking up Greenwich or Hudson Streets, which will bring you through Greenwich Village. While the Hudson Street bike lane is protected, Hudson can be busy. If you’re looking for a leisurely ride even though it’s not a protected lane I would suggest taking Greenwich which has fewer cars and more to look at. After visiting the Meatpacking District hop on the Hudson River Greenway and take it all the way to Castle Clinton, or ride on Washington Street to Tribeca.
From the east side of Manhattan
Getting to Meatpacking is quick and easy thanks to the 14th Street Busway and associated 12th Street and 13th Street bike lanes. Extending from First Avenue to Eighth Avenue, these lanes provide protected east/west crosstown travel for cyclists connecting with other major bike routes including the Second Avenue, Broadway, and 5th Avenue protected lanes. On quieter residential streets these routes are easy-going allowing all to feel comfortable traveling across town. The 13th Street bike lane will take you into Meatpacking, and the 12th Street bike lane back east. For more experienced cyclists, the restrictions on private vehicles along 14th Street have provided a new opportunity for cyclists to travel unencumbered by gridlock traffic. While cyclists still need to be wary of buses and larger trucks, at most times of the day 14th Street remains empty.
From Queens over the Queensboro Bridge & the Upper East Side
Travel south using the Second Avenue protected lane all the way down to 14th Street, where one can make the cross-town connection. Other routes from Queens include continuing west from the Queensboro Bridge to Ninth Avenue or Hudson River Greenway via the 55th Street protected bike lane for a calmer ride, or on 57th Street if you’re late for drinks. Heading home to Queens and the Upper East Side one can ride crosstown to the First Avenue protected lane, or north and then east on 54th Street, or along the southern edge of Central Park at 59th Street and back over the Queensboro Bridge.
From Brooklyn (and Eastern Queens)
Take the Williamsburg or Manhattan Bridge to Chrystie and Delancey. From there depending on your comfort and experience there are a number of routes that will take you to the Meatpacking District.
Go west on Delancey, which then becomes Kenmare Street, and turn right onto Cleveland Place at Lt Petrosino Square. Continue north and merge with Lafayette Street protected bike lane. Then this route north, crossing Houston Street, and passing Astor Place all the way to 13th Street or 14th Street. From here just head west on the bike lane of your choice to reach the neighborhood. For those with some experience, but who prefer riding on quieter streets, use the Prince Street bike lane cutting through SoHo to Hudson or Greenwich Streets. Continue north on either to reach Meatpacking.
More experienced riders
Take Chrystie Street at Delancy north to Houston Street. At Houston make a left and head west, crossing Broadway and Laguardia Place. When Houston meets Sixth Avenue, continue straight onto Bedford Street, which cuts through the heart of the West Village (passed the Friends Apartment) northwest to Christopher Street. Quickly hitch one block west on Christopher and then up Greenwich or Hudson streets to reach your final destination. To get back to Brooklyn, cut east along 14th or 12th Street and then down the Second Avenue protected lane, or take Hudson Street south continuing onto the Bleeker Street bike lane to Houston and the Bowery. From there head over your favorite bridge home. However, you ride, do yourself a favor, and don’t ride on the Brooklyn Bridge.
Cooling Down After Riding In
One of my favorites post-ride is Feast on Us, located on Hudson Street between Gansevoort and Horatio Streets, which has a vibrant selection of flavorful iced teas, coffee, and lemonade. You can view our list of open outdoor dining options for more ideas.
More to do
Check out our events section to learn more about what’s happening in the neighborhood.
Written by Evan Sweet.
Evan Sweet is the Meatpacking District BID’s Operations + Economic Development Manager. A born and raised New Yorker, Evan has been cycling in New York for 15 years and you may spot them riding into the neighborhood on their Fuji commuter bike, talking with business owners, and managing the neighborhood’s Open Streets program. Read more about Evan here