Landmarks Commission, DOT Work Toward Removing Oppressive Chain Link
On September 23rd, the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission held a hearing to solicit comments about the DOT's plan to install a seven-foot tall chain link fence along the entire length of the Queensboro Bridge's bicycle and pedestrian path. If installed, this fence will be aesthetically disastrous and would demoralize and discourage people from walking and biking over the Queensboro Bridge. This would make the path less safe and further discourage people from walking and biking. The logical compromise is to replace the existing seven-foot, dilapidated chain link fences with nicer, non-chain link fences on the portions of the bridge path that pass over Manhattan, Roosevelt Island and Queens and leave the existing four-and-a-half-foot non-chain link fences untouched on the sections of the path that pass over the East River. Landmarks Commission Chairman Robert Tierney concluded the hearing by saying that the Commission, which must approve the DOT's final design, will work with the agency to find a workable solution that preserves the historic and aesthetic characteristics of the landmark Queensboro Bridge. The long-term implications of the final design are significant. In a June 2002 New York Times article about chain link fencing on East River bridge bicycle and pedestrian paths, a DOT spokesman said, "…when renovations are inevitably done to the [landmark] Brooklyn Bridge promenade … chain-link fencing would be installed."