QBB alert: Cyclists to North Path
On June 22, 1998, the DOT will close the Queensboro Bridge South Outer Roadway, which doubles as the bicycle and pedestrian path, to begin rebuilding the structure. Cyclists and walkers will be directed to use the North Outer Roadway during the closure and will still be prohibited from riding or walking over the bridge during the evening rush hour. Though T.A. has lobbied heavily for full-time access to the bridge, cyclists and walkers crossing the bridge will still have to ride the DOT shuttle bus from 3:30PM to 8PM.
The shuttle's shortcomings are glaring in summer, when buses become overcrowded and people obviously prefer to walk or ride across the bridge rather than sit in traffic on a crowded bus full of bikes.
Cyclists will regain 24-hour use of the bridge in Fall 1999, when work on the South Outer Roadway is complete, and the permanent bike/ped path will sport a non-slip surface. However, the DOT has squandered a real opportunity to better the Queensboro for bicyclists and walkers. City cyclists have repeatedly called for direct access to both First and Second Avenues, but the agency has instead clung to plans that dump cyclists in the middle of 59th Street, with no safe or direct route to Second Avenue.
Ask the Mayor's Office of Transportation why the DOT is plodding ahead with a bike/ped lane design that makes no sense for cyclists.
Seth Kaye, Director