Summer 2004, p.18

Cycling News
Dead Letter Society: T.A.’s eye on badly needed, undelivered improvements

Will QBB Study See the Light?

Since 2002, the Department of City Planning has studied bicycle and pedestrian safety and access improments on the Manhattan side of the Queensboro Bridge, yet it has not held one public meeting or released a draft of the study for public comment. City Planning should release the study without delay.
City Planning is undertaking a similar study of the Queens side of the bridge and has hosted public meetings and made study findings public.
In Manhattan, three-quarters of the bicyclists using the path travel to and from west of the bridge, yet there is no direct access from that direction. Bikers are forced to detour four blocks out of their way. Yet, motorists have convenient westward access. City Planning’s study could dramatically improve safety and access for bikers, but only if it’s released.

Amanda Burden, Director
NYC Dept of City Planning
22 Reade St, NY, NY 10007-1216

Read the latest news on the Queensboro Bridge.

Taxi Safety Sticker on Hold for a Year

In May 2003, the NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission unveiled its much improved Passenger Information Sticker, featuring graphics and text reminding passengers to “Watch for Bicyclists” and “Exit Curbside.” Over the winter, Taxi Commission officials told T.A. that the new stickers would appear in the city’s 12,000 taxicabs shortly after May 2004’s fare increase. As of printing, there is no sign of the stickers.
The stickers will help prevent “doorings,” the number one cause of bike crashes in the city. Based on the Department of City Planning’s statistics, T.A. estimates that 1,000 cyclists are “doored” each year, resulting in hundreds of broken bones and three to four deaths.

Matthew Daus,
TLC Commissioner
40 Rector St, 5th Flr, NY, NY 10006

Read the latest news on the taxis.

And The Bumps Go On, to Cyclists’ Peril

In December 2002, the DOT opened a new bicycle and pedestrian path on the Williamsburg Bridge. The new path is spacious and fully ramped on both sides. Unfortunately, the 26 metal expansion joint covers that cross the width of the path are hazards to the 1,500 people who walk and bike across the bridge each day. They need to be removed.

T.A., elected officials, Community Boards and community groups have asked the DOT to remove the bumps. The bumps have caused a number of bicyclists to crash and severely injure themselves. Many are now suing the City for its negligence in not removing the bumps.

Iris Weinshall
40 Worth St, NY, NY 10013

Read the latest news on the Williamsburg Bridge.