Yet Another Flawed Plan
for Queensboro Bridge
Approach Will Shaft Cyclists and Pedestrians ...Again
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The City DOT's indifference
and outright hostility toward bicycling and walking has resurfaced in its
latest plan for the Queensboro Bridge's Manhattan entrance. This most recent
outrage follows a six-year Transportation Alternatives campaign to force City
engineers to keep the bridge open 24 hours a day and ensure a safe entrance
when bridge reconstruction is completed.
In January, the DOT announced
an ill-conceived plan for the Manhattan entrance, one that will inconvenience
and endanger cyclists and pedestrians. The bridge's bike/pedestrian path
starts at 59th Street near Second Avenue, Under the DOT plan, riders from
Queens heading downtown via Second Avenue would dismount their bikes, walk
east to First Avenue, cross the street, then walk west to Second Avenue.
T.A.'s plan-first presented to DOT two years ago-calls for a traffic light at
the foot of the bridge and safe, direct access to Second Avenue (where the
majority of cyclists and walkers go).
Lowlights of the Queensboro
Bridge entrance plan:
- No direct route to Second
Avenue from the bridge;
- No traffic signal giving
bikes and peds the right of way over cars, ever;
- A narrow, 4 1/2 foot-wide
path for two-way bike traffic on the steep quarter-mile bridge approach.
There's still time to make a
Deputy Mayor Fran Reiter
One Centre Street
Room 2358 South
New York, NY 10007.
The Struggle: Bikes and
Pedestrians on the Queensboro Bridge
1978: T.A. Bike Rally on
the bridge wins a lane for cyclists and pedestrians.
June 1990: Long-term bridge
rebuilding begins. To compensate for lost car lanes, the City DOT allows
cars on the
bicycle/pedestrian path week days between 3 pm and 7 pm. Bridge bike traffic
drops by 46%. T.A. begins weekly traffic-blocking protests to keep the lane
open to non-motorized users 24 hours a day.
March 1991: Six T.A.
demonstrators are arrested for blocking traffic on the roadway. The
"QB6" are acquitted of disorderly conduct charges; a judge rules
their actions were just and necessary given the grave and imminent danger
from car-caused air pollution.
January 1993: DOT proposes
eliminating 1993 bike/pedestrian access until bridge construction is
completed. Plan is scrapped following public outcry.
July 1993: DOT bans cars
full-time from the South Outer Roadway. T.A. begins to push for a good final
design for the bridge entrance.
November 1993: DOT submits
severely flawed final design plan for Manhattan entrance, which would force
cyclists to dismount before getting on or off the bridge.
March 1994: TA. outlines
better Manhattan-side entrance during "Teach-in" at the foot of
April 1994: Flood of
letters prompts DOT to eliminate dismount requirement in final design plans.
Still no provision made for cyclists and walkers going to Second avenue.
Wheel-eating expansion joints on the bridge span lead to typical DOT
non-solution "Bikers Dismount" signs are erected to protect city
January 1996: Citing
"potential adverse traffic impact," DOT announces intention to
install dangerous and inconvenient entrance to the bridge.