For the hundreds of cyclists who have wiped out on the Queensboro Bridge over the years, suffering broken limbs, serious lacerations and worse, T.A. has uplifting news. After years of pressuring the DOT to install a non-skid surface on the Queensboro Bridge bike/ped path, T.A. last month won a written commitment from the agency to do just that. During reconstruction, the agency will replace the treacherous steel grid decks on both the north and south outer roadways with concrete filled grating treated with a skid resistant "microsurfacing overlay." Until now, Queensboro cyclists have been forced to negotiate the elemental incompatibility between rubber tires and slick metal whenever even the slightest mist covered the bridge path. "It's deadly. I've seen so many people take spills-myself included. I'm surprised the city hasn't been sued," says T.A. member and QBB commuter James Langergaard. Happily, those days will soon be gone.
Still missing, however, is a
written commitment from the DOT that the completed bridge path will be open
for use by cyclists and pedestrians twenty-four hours a day. The permanent
path is due in Fall 1999, when both north and south outer roadways will have
been rebuilt and when the DOT will decide where to locate the path. Title 23,
para.109 of U.S. Code for Highways forbids "any project . . . that
results in the severance of an existing major route[s] for nonmotorized
transportation traffic . . . unless such project provides a reasonably
alternate route or such route exists." But the DOT could be planning to
sever the Queensboro route for part of the day, as is done now by forcing
cyclists and walkers to be carried on the shuttle bus.
Ask your elected officials to urge DOT to commit in writing to a twenty-four hour bike/ped path on the Queensboro Bridge.
Queens Borough President