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Queens Leaders Call For Exclusive Bike and Pedestrian Paths On Queensboro Bridge

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TODAY, April 30th, Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer joined Transportation Alternatives, Bike New York, the Court Square Civic Association, cycling advocates, and community members to call on the NYC Department of Transportation to create separate, exclusive lanes for pedestrians and cyclists on the Queensboro Bridge. Council Member Van Bramer endorses Transportation Alternatives’ campaign to convert the south outer roadway into an accessible walkway and the north outer roadway into a dedicated bike lane.

“The Queensboro Bridge path is dangerously overcrowded and poses a safety hazard to the thousands of pedestrians and cyclists that rely on it to cross between Queens and Manhattan each day. There needs to be separate, exclusive lanes for pedestrians and cyclists on the Queensboro Bridge. DOT cannot afford to wait until upcoming work on the bridge is completed to start planning to make this infrastructure more sustainable and accessible. More people are going to get seriously injured or worse. DOT must speed up repairs and start preparing for this necessary redesign immediately so that all people, regardless of their preferred transportation method, have the space they need to cross this vital pathway safely. Reducing our reliance on automobiles and encouraging green transportation alternatives will benefit our city and our planet,” said Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer.

“The current Queensboro Bridge configuration no longer serves the needs of pedestrians, cyclists and runners traveling between Queens and Manhattan. While cars enjoy nine full lanes for driving to and from Manhattan, commuters on bike and foot are expected to jockey for scraps of space on the only lane dedicated for non-car commuting use. We have already documented many severe injuries from routine use of the bridge. Over 2,000 New Yorkers and 30 local businesses have signed our campaign petition to convert the South Outer Roadway to a fully accessible pedestrian space for walking, running and wheelchairs. The city has a responsibility to prevent further harm by making the South Outer Walkway accessible as soon as possible.” said Juan Restrepo, Queens Organizer for Transportation Alternatives.  

“Cyclists, the fastest-growing user group on the bridge, are shoehorned with pedestrians into a substandard and increasingly unsafe 12 foot lane. New protected bike lanes in Queens and surging growth in e-bike use have increased bike commuting. At the same time, car traffic on the bridge is declining and the city aims to drive it down further with congestion pricing. It makes sense to give bike riders and walkers separate lanes on the Queensboro Bridge,” said Laura Shepard, spokesperson for Bike New York.

Under the proposal, the North Outer Roadway of the Queensboro Bridge, currently shared by bikes and pedestrians, would be converted into an exclusive bike lane. And the South Outer Roadway, currently reserved for cars, would be converted into an exclusive pedestrian walkway that is ADA-compliant and accessible to all.

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