Did you know that you can walk over the Tappan Zee Bridge?
A new pedestrian and bike path opened in June 2020, spanning some 3.6 miles and connecting the towns of Tarrytown and Nyack. The bright blue walkway features scenic overlook points referred to as “belvederes.” One reminded me of the glass amphitheater on the NYC High Line. Sitting on the bleachers watching the cars was mesmerizing. Peering out through this glass window over the Hudson was a bit scarier.
For the past two years, our main leisure activity has been walking. Pre-Covid, my 10,000 steps stemmed from an NYC commute that spanned two hours, three trains, a bus, and a 15-minute walk–and that was just one way. These days, our walks are mostly in nature, on a trail, in a park, or through our favorite, secret homestead.
What’s different about this walk: the zing and zap of the cars buzzing at 60+ mph alongside you (separated by a partition, of course). It was an otherwise gray day, but the rev of the experience was a shot in the arm. A reminder that we are alive, that there are cars driving fast across this bridge going somewhere fast, perhaps somewhere important. Just the opposite of those March 2020 photos when the busiest thoroughfares in the world were absent of cars.
Driving Over the Tappan Zee Bridge
I drove over the Tappan Zee Bridge for the first time in June 2020. It was such a significant occasion that I memorialized it on a tote bag.
What propelled me to conquer my fear: gluten free mozzarella sticks at Wegmans. Just after I made it there and back, a Wegmans opened up on my side of the river.
My fear stemmed from memories of the old Tappan Zee, the now demolished structure that evidently others were afraid of, too. Apparently it was deemed the “hold your breath” bridge on account of its structural decay late into the 1990s. And check this out–in the last decade of the old bridge, the New York State Thruway Authority offered a service for gephyrophobics (those afraid of bridges). As of 2008, a driver suffering from the condition could call the Authority to have someone drive their car over the bridge. According to the New York Times, this happened about six times per year.
Have you walked over the Tappan Zee Bridge? What was it like?
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