Spring 2005, p.5

Cycling News
In Potholed City, Bicyclists Need Their Fill First

Taking it to the streets! T.A. volunteers identified over 64 streets hazards in Brooklyn in just two hours.
Taking it to the streets! T.A. volunteers identified over 64 street hazards in Brooklyn in just two hours.

According to Transportation Alternatives spokesperson Noah Budnick. . .

Deep potholes, sunken manhole covers, unfilled street cuts and misaligned construction plates make the streets [approaching the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges] a challenging obstacle course for [bicycle] riders. Fail to remain acutely alert here and you could end up with a new set of broken bones.

“They can throw a cyclist of his bike…” Budnick warned. “…They [City Department of Transportation] need to look at bridge entranceways.”
–“Cyclists Beware: Bumpy Road Ahead,” Park Slope Courier, July 22, 2002

This spring has been the worst pothole season in recent memory. Even the most street hardened New Yorkers have noticed more potholes, ruts, grooves, and hummocks than ever before. Not to miss an opportunity to win points with jarred New Yorkers during an election year, on March 28, Mayor Bloomberg, with shovel in hand and DOT Commissioner Weinshall by his side, announced that he would add $15 million to the city’s $75 million road repaving budget.

Because potholes are deadly hazards to bicycling New Yorkers as evidenced by Noah Budnick’s recent crash, in addition to several other cyclists who have fallen victim to potholes in need of filling, the City DOT should:

Add street inspectors and put them back on bicycles. In the early 90’s, DOT street inspection crews used to make their rounds by bike, providing a critical street-eye view of hazards. They should do so again without delay.

Prioritize bicycle routes. The city should inspect and fix streets that are used most by cyclists, most importantly on the streets approaching increasingly popular bridge bike paths.

Stirred by Noah’s Crash, T.A. Volunteers I.D. Hazards

T.A.’s Operation Hazard ID surveys, marks, records and reports road hazards, which the city is then obligated to fix or risk liability. On Saturday, April 9, T.A. member Maggie Bowman, motivated by Noah’s crash, organized a team of volunteers that ID’d 64 hazards in Brooklyn in only two hours.

Join T.A.’s Operation Hazard ID. E-mail volunteer@transalt.org or call 212-629-8080. To report a pothole or hazardous road condition call 311.

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