Spring 2005, p.4

Cycling News: Bridges
Safe Bridges by 2006

It is imperative that the City make major safety improvements to the East River bridge bicycling and walking paths and the streets leading to them. Between 1995 and 2001, 51 bicyclists were injured and 7 were killed in the immediate vicinity of the Brooklyn approaches to the Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges alone. As the number of bicyclists using the bridges continues to skyrocket (numbers have more than doubled since 2000), the City must act now before more blood is shed. As part of our Safe Bridges by 2006 campaign T.A. recommends that the City immediately prioritize the fixing of potholes and other dangerous hazards on popular bike routes, as a pothole that is a mere nuisance to a motorist can be deadly for cyclists. Transportation Alternatives calls on the City to implement the following recommendations by 2006.

On all bridges, the City should:
■ Create a special DOT program to improve bicycle access
■ Install and maintain lighting and emergency phones
■ Conduct frequent street and path inspections using bicycle inspectors

On specific East River bridges, the city should:

BROOKLYN BRIDGE
■ Install a “bike box” on northbound Centre St. at Chambers St.
■ Re-mark safety symbols on bridge path.
■ Build fly-over ramp connecting bridge path to Cadman Plaza Park.

MANHATTAN BRIDGE
■ Install northbound colored bike lane on Jay Street.
■ Install shared lane pavement markings on Jay Street.
■ Install large, yellow, diamond-shaped bicycle warning signs on Jay Street off-ramp.
■ Erect bollards as a median between northbound lane of Jay Street and traffic exiting bridge.
■ Install eastbound colored and protected bike lane on Sands Street.
■ Fill in gaps between concrete slabs on Brooklyn-side bicyclist-only path.

QUEENSBORO BRIDGE
■ Build the planned median bikeway parallel to Queens Plaza North.
■ Remove oppressive chain-link fence.
■ Improve dangerous and confusing bridge path access maze on Manhattan side.
■ Provide eastbound access to bridge path on Manhattan side via 60th and 61st Streets by installing a traffic signal, crosswalks and “Caution: Cyclist” signs at motor vehicle off-ramp.

WILLIAMSBURG BRIDGE
■ Replace metal expansion joint covers on Manhattan-side bridge path with safer alternatives.
■ Repave rippled concrete on Brooklyn-side’s northern bridge path.

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