SI Bike Lane Blasted in Half by Businesses
Barely open two months and the bicycle lane on Staten Island's Richmond Terrace is being blamed for a business slowdown in the area. Owners of bars, restaurants and a film industry lighting supply house have successfully lobbied the DOT to shorten the bike lane from two to one miles, by showing it is strangling parking, and their businesses. The bike lane is taking the brunt of the criticism for on-street parking cuts and sign changes that upgraded many of 'No Parking' areas along the road to stricter 'No Standing' zones. But the parking cuts were also enacted to improve the traffic flow to and from the new minor league baseball stadium. The bike lane was intended to connect the ferry terminal south to the Snug Harbor Cultural Center, a distance of about 2 miles. Due to the complaints, the lane will remain in place on each side of Richmond Terrace for about a mile between the ferry terminal and Jersey St. A bikeway (recommended route) with on-street car parking will continue intermittently for the other mile. Removing one mile of the bike lane is a set back for cycling on Staten Island. The DOT did show great determination in advocating for the lane for over five years and through numerous bureaucratic and political hurdles.
Also the DOT still intends to move forward with a forthcoming lane on Bay St. that will fill the gap between Richmond Terrace and the existing bike lane on School Road. Thanks to the DOT Commissioner, Iris Weinshall for continuing to move forward with bicycle improvements on Staten Island.