The west side of Manhattan is an idyllic utopia along the river, where an interconnected series of parks and paths give New Yorkers the ability to travel on foot or by bike from the Battery up to Washington Heights, without mingling with motor vehicles. Much of the route along the Hudson River is green and well-maintained, which makes the contrast with the shabby East Side all the more striking. And so over the weekend Transportation Alternatives held a bike ride press opp along the East River to highlight his side's glaring inadequacy.

Parks Department's assistant commissioner Joshua Laird joined the ride, and told the Daily News, "There is really no space. That's the issue of the upper East Side." Standing in the way of a contiguous bike/pedestrian path along the East River are such formidable obstacles as the UN, the FDR Drive, Bellevue, and the Con Edison plant on East 14th Street. That last structure is notorious for causing a ludicrously narrow "choke point," where the path is reduced to a thin, four feet wide sliver of concrete between the FDR and one wall of the plant. One local jogger at the choke point tells the News, "It's terrible. Can't they narrow the highway?"

Ha. Council member Daniel Garodnick is hoping the city can at least work out some deal to persuade the UN to give up two buildings on East 45th to facilitate a contiguous pathway along the water. But who knows if or when that will ever happen. In the meantime, East Siders can just keep choking on their envy.