Fall 2002, p.4

Cycling News

Port Authority Eyes Bike Improvements on Both Ends of GWB
(NYCDOT Take Note)

Recently, the bicycle-friendly Port Authority asked T.A. to recommend ways to make cycling to and from the Manhattan side of the George Washington Bridge safer. As part of its major repairs to the bridge, the agency has already pledged to improve cycling on the NJ side by constructing a path linking the bridge to Henry Hudson Drive (aka River Road) in Palisades Park. On the Manhattan side, T.A. recommends that the Port Authority build a direct link from the bridge to the Hudson River Greenway.
At 178th Street & Cabrini Boulevard, cyclists and pedestrians must negotiate a narrow, cracked sidewalk and a constricted hairpin ramp to cross the GWB. Additionally, there is no direct access from the GWB to the Hudson River greenway.

T.A. and NYSDOT engineers agree that there is ample space to build a wider ramp with a more gradual curve that would deliver cyclists and pedestrians safely to the Hudson River Greenway and Manhattan streets. Its limited width and site lines and poor surface makes the existing ramp particularly dangerous. On top of that, petty criminals frequent the trash-strewn area under the ramp and compromise cyclist safety.

For the short term, the City DOT must put up trailblazer signs and stripe bike lanes that lead cyclists safely between the bridge and the 181st Street ramp and other access points to the greenway. The City DOT should also note the Port Authority's active interest in soliciting T.A.'s input to improve bicycle and pedestrian access to the world's busiest bridge.

On the New Jersey side, T.A. and a coalition of New Jersey's largest cycling groups asked the Port Authority to build a half-mile stretch of greenway to safely connect the bridge with the Palisades Interstate Park. This off-street path would eliminate dangerous conflicts between drivers and cyclists on the congested surface streets of Fort Lee.

The Port Authority just named Robert Durando new general manager of the bridge. Write him and urge the Port Authority to include cycling in GWB service improvements.

Robert Durando
General Manager
George Washington Bridge
220 Bridge Plaza Sout
Fort Lee, NJ 07024 
rdurando@panynj.gov
 

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