Summer 2003, p.5

Cycling News
Bridge Bumps Need to Go!

Bicyclists, pedestrians, community groups, community boards and elected officials say that the twenty-six bumps on the Williamsburg Bridge are dangerous.
Bicyclists, pedestrians, community groups, community boards and elected officials say that the twenty-six bumps on the Williamsburg Bridge are dangerous.
A growing group of elected officials and community and civic organizations have asked the DOT to remove the twenty-six, two-inch metal bumps on the Williamsburg Bridge path: the Eastern Paralyzed Veterans Association, the United Jewish Organizations of Williamsburg, El Puente, Community Board 3 (Manhattan), the Community Board 1 (Brooklyn) Transportation Committee and State Senator Martin Malave Dilan.

The bumps span the width of the path, create hazardous conditions for path users and discourage frequent cycling on the bridge. They also appear to violate the Americans with Disabilities Act because they are barriers for disabled people. In addition, the bumps do little to slow fast cyclists, who jump over them, making conditions more dangerous for everyone.

DOT engineers frequently cite national bicycle and pedestrian design guidelines issued by the authoritative American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials when they do not want to use innovative traffic calming methods. Interestingly, these same guidelines say that multi-use paths, including those on bridges, should be smooth and free of hazards.

It is obvious to path users that the bumps are dangerous and badly designed. Hey DOT, remove the bumps!

Commissioner Iris Weinshall
NYC DOT
40 Worth Street
New York, NY 10013


Hey DOT, Are You Listening? Painting Bridge Bumps Yellow Doesn't Cut It

In June 12, T.A. member Amanda Hickman wrote to DOT Commissioner Iris Weinshall asking her to remove the bumps on the Williamsburg Bridge path. She specifically noted that:

"Painting the bumps yellow doesn't make it any safer or more comfortable to ride over them."

In a letter dated July 7, DOT Manhattan Borough Commissioner Margaret Forgione responded:

" our agency made two changes on the path to make crossing the joints easier. In May, Bridge Operations completed painting all 24 joints yellow to draw special attention to them. Additionally, the action was supplemented by the installation of standard warning signs to further alert path users to the presence of the joints."

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