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    Yeah, try teaching someone who has ALS to ride a bike. Wheelchairs usually aren’t used bc people are lazy. Sad that I have to write that.



    It’s not about the bell. Broken windows policing should be applied to drivers. Ticketing harmless infractions committed by safe drivers to get the rare dangerous driver is fine. No matter what the ratio of ticketed safe to dangerous drivers is, it’s fine. Why? They’re an other on this board. To some, driving is just plain wrong. The reasons vary. Try applying the same approach to cyclists? Broken windows is a lot more objectionable when you’re at risk of getting caught up in the sweeps.



    Respectfully, PA’s plan will restore the GWB to it’s 1931 pedestrian configuration that will have neither the capacity nor protection from liability to function as a cycling facility.

    If PA was going to convert a car lane, current volume already justifies it. But a) logistically it would be nightmare; b) each lanes generates $50 million per year and c) peak car use overlaps with peak bike use. Even partial closure would cost the PA more than widening the paths.

    And before you diss recreational cycling, understand that the County Executives of Rockland, Orange and Duchess are in support because they don’t want to lose the millions in revenue from cycle tourism.

    Try it another way, GWB is the only bike-able connection between the 10 million residents of NYC and North Jersey. Is there any other city in the world that would pass up opportunity to rip it out and restore it, without bringing it up to code?



    you honestly believe there is a difference between

    national socialism
    international socialism



    I’m continually amazed at the items to which cyclists take exception. A bell for a bike that is ridden in traffic on roadways is not a great expense, a heavy weight nor the source of any significant wind resistance. What’s the performance objection to the rider?

    When New York was a pure contributory negligence state, a bike without a bell posed a great financial risk to the rider. Anyone considering riding in Alabama, DC, Maryland, North Carolina or Virginia would be advised to make sure there’s a working bell on the bike.



    No it won’t. Which NYC do you live in? The one I live in doesn’t enforce runners utilizing any bike route, whether that route happens to fall under jurisdiction of NYPD, PANYNJ, or anywhere else. No, there will be no enforcement. And because it’s NYC, where behavioral norms don’t really exist like they do in places have less population turnover and a more homogeneous population, you’re going to get plenty of runners on that route, mark my words.



    “The presence of the TZB will spur people to start thinking more seriously about these other issues.”

    Thinking does not meet implementation. There is no bike planning underway anywhere along the Route 119 corridor and no plan (that I’m aware of) for any bike/ped corridor improvements along this route anywhere in the foreseeable future. The County is having trouble maintaining the existing infrastructure it has – witness the terrible condition of parts of the SCT and NCT, with frost heaves, washed out pavement on segments of the NCT, etc. Wishful thinking on your part.



    You are correct on Route 119. I won’t ride it. Get some traffic calming out there first and then we’ll talk. As it is now it is a death trap with 50mph vehicle speeds along much of its length. And no, the SCT does not come terminate in Elmsford near anywhere within reasonable distance of the TZB (“reasonable” for the everyday cyclist, not hardened, vehicular-cycling roadies). I don’t know why anyone would claim that the SCT terminus is anywhere near the TZB. Once the trail ends you are stuck making a sketchy left turn onto a four lane arterial that also contains a service road for the southbound Saw Mill Parkway. As you proceed west, there are also multiple NYS Thruway onramps. Sweeping turns with large radii so that cars can shoot on to the highway. It’s shit conditions for riding much of the time.

    What the NYC to TZB east side route is missing is the wide shoulder that you have on 9W. There’s a veritable silk road of cycling along 9W on weekends that you’ll never get east of the Hudson. Warburton Avenue in Yonkers and Hastings is never going to get packs of roadies like 9W does. The right of way doesn’t really allow for it, and if they try, I foresee a ton of conflict.



    Close to 200 people already gathered at Healdsburg Plaza for #DrewEsquivel vigil.— Christi Warren (@SeaWarren) July 23, 2016


    Elizabeth F

    No… the public does not NEED to dress up in Spandex on weekends and bike to Nyack. There’s reason to believe that there is a ceiling for this relatively niche activity.

    As NJBC pointed out, PA could convert a car travel lane to bikes on weekends, if by chance the spandex army continues to grow without bound.

    The NEEDS of the public (commuting) are well served by the plan.



    I wouldn’t be so sure. The lower bike path picture looks like it has a sound wall.


    Unfiltered Dregs

    You’re missing the big picture which is what’s proposed will not be adequate to address the predicted capacity demand ergo no matter the upgrades, which you characterize as significant, the implementation will fall well short of actually meeting the needs a of the public.



    I remember attending a speech by Bratton followed by a panel discussion, sponsored by TA, during the period between deBlasio’s election and his appointment of a police commissioner. Bratton said all the right things and it was very encouraging. Disappointingly, little of it has been put into effect.

    It will also be interesting to see what impact the new geometry has on cyclists and pedestrians. The latter impatiently drift out into the travel lane when they don’t have the walk signal and bike riders blow through red lights and the people crossing the street like it is a game. I am pessimistic. There is only so much that can be accomplished with engineering.



    Does personal car mean drive to the airport and park, get a ride from friend/family to the airport and they drive away, or both?


    Elizabeth F

    Only 1 mile of 119 is absolutely needed. There are also other ways to the TZB, both north and south of 119. The presence of the TZB will spur people to start thinking more seriously about these other issues.

    There are things in Rockland County I need to get to, and taking the TZB will save me 5 miles or more. I will find a way to use the TZB bike path as soon as it’s available.


    Ferdinand Cesarano

    All that shows is that there are plenty of fascists amongst us who approve of that sort of thing.

    The state will perpetrate whatever horrors the community will tolerate. And it will do whatever good the community demands.

    In other words, the state is just a tool, a means of carrying out the public will. It has no character of its own. When the state goes wrong, the fault lies with the community. And so does the power to correct things.

    A general anti-state position is ridiculous, and has no place in serious discussion. It is fit only for clueless anarchists (who don’t understand that the complete lack of a state cedes control of society entirely to corporations) and for evil libertarians (who understand this perfectly well).


    Elizabeth F

    NJBWC has already stated their position on this project. They are very, very happy with it.


    Miles Bader

    Of course, in reality the alternative won’t be a new bridge, it will be “let’s do more road-widening!”

    Or muscle-car lanes.


    walks bikes drives

    I’d rather something that widens earlier, with close to 100% visibility.


    walks bikes drives

    Nah, the lower cycle path would have the sound coming from the lower deck, which is even louder. I drive across the upper deck with my windows open. I close my windows on the lower deck because of the higher volume.



    I meant the 90 million dollar cantilevered span that would be much quieter due to vertical and horizontal separation. One mile on a bike is 4-6 minutes. On foot, taking a few pictures? 20-30. Where do you think tourists will walk?



    Agree 100%. I’d be happy with a proposal that cantilevered a nice wide radius curve outside of the towers and left the rest as-is. Something at least at decent as this (from the SF Bay Bridge alternatives analysis):



    I agree that putting the highest quality bike path on the GWB wouldn’t be a top objective, except that, as stated, this is a once in a generation chance to do this as a small part of a very huge project that is already happening. It’s not a question of cycling route priority either, as the TZB and other NYC bridges aren’t owned by the Port Authority.

    Basically, miss your chance to get a high quality path here as part of this project and you will literally die of old age before it happens. I’m making no assumption about the age of anyone reading this when I say that.


    walks bikes drives

    I don’t care as much about the width between the cables. I care so much more about those blind turns, where some cyclists take them as fast as they can, rather than as fast as they should. Because of the blind aspect, cornering has to be slower than is technically possible, but too many cyclists take them too fast. Typically, for me, when I cross the bridge, of the 4 times I go through a tower box (round trip) typically there is a cyclists taking the blind turn at least one of those times.



    TZB connection to the South County Trailway on 119? Haven’t heard anything about this. I remember mentioning this a few times during the “meetings” about the new bridge where we were just told our governor was building the bridge and shut up if you have any comments.

    119 is freaking terrifying on a bike, and has the sad history of being the road where the person who the NYS 3-feet passing law is named after was killed:
    Here’s a glimpse of the scary roadway:

    I stand by my earlier understanding of the TZB bike path: a place for Governor Cuomo to hold press conferences without bothering drivers in the least. Just wait and see.


    walks bikes drives



    walks bikes drives

    The nicer route for someone walking is the south side because that is the city view. The north side just had cliff views which are not as desirable. If the PA posts signs that say cyclists only, no joggers, and say there is some sort of fine associated with it, I’m sure that will keep joggers off the path. No enforcement needed.



    Fascinated to see how installing one of the city’s narrowest bike lanes in a location with the city’s heaviest bike traffic goes. I suspect it was deliberately made narrow to keep cars out, since Bratton has made it abundantly clear that he could give a shit about cyclist safety and DeBlasio is too spineless to replace him.

    Speaking of the NYPD, it will be interesting to see how they deal with the new setup. Taking things away from the NYPD never seems to go down well, so I imagine they’ll be driving with two wheels on the sidewalk to park in that lane, and all the unprotected bus stops will be clogged with cars.

    This is not a good design. However, it is a step in the right direction, and we’ll soon see how the city tries to improve from here.


    Elizabeth F

    I commuted over the GBW daily by bike for 3 years. Unfortunately, this article is full of misinformation.

    The planned upgrades will be a significant improvement over what’s there today. Two major capacity-improving upgrades are planned: (a) elimination of the hairpin turn on the NY side, replacing it with more of a cloverleaf type ramp, and (b) elimination of stair steps on the north side.

    Together these two upgrades will more than double the capacity of the current bridge. How the resulting two sides are used in the future is a policy decision, not a construction issue. PA could put bikes on one and peds on the other; or anyone anywhere; or eastbound on one and westbound on the other. I’m sure these decisions will depend in part of level of demand.

    Peak bike demand on the GWB is weekend recreational travel. In addition to the GWB capacity upgrades, additional trans-Hudson capacity will be created by the opening of the new TZB bike lane. The South County trailway goes most of the way there; improvements to Van Cortlandt Park and (hopefully) Route 119 in Elmsford will serve to make this route to Nyack even more enticing. Given that this travel is discretionary, potential overcrowding on the GWB will almost certainly shift some traffic to the TZB.

    The GWB also forms an important commuter link for people on bike and foot. But weekday traffic is far below weekend recreational maxima. The geography of the Palisades makes it unlikely that GWB commuter bike traffic will grow to unmanageable levels any times soon, not even if e-bikes are legalized. If it does, auto traffic will likely be enough lower that an auto lane can be repurposed for bikes at that time.

    The suicide fences are there for everyone’s safety. The railing today is so low it’s scary on a bike. We need to decide whether the PA’s job is to get people where they need to go, or to give them a nice outing on Saturday. I’m of the opinion that their main job is the former; and in that case, the bridge plans as they stand are more than adequate.

    It’s true, the bridge lanes are narrower than one would like. And if the GWB were being built today, they would probably be wider. But the NY region is full of bridges and tunnels with substandard lanes (for cars and trucks). Why should bikes expect any better? And BTW, the same thing goes for congestion. Even during peak weekend bike times, crossing the GWB on bike is more pleasant than crossing by car during peak commuter times.

    The GWB is a fantastic deal for people who choose to commute by bicycle — and it also removes one more car from the bridge, making life a little easier for everyone else. The planned improvements will make it even better by eliminating the needs to use stairs during (frequent) south side shutdowns, by eliminating the hairpin obstacle, and by improving safety with the suicide fences. It’s a great project; rather than complaining, we would do better to save our $90m and spend our political capital elsewhere — for example, on bridges that do not yet have bicycle access.



    Is there not 24 hour access? How does that work? I assume then it must also close for cars or something right?



    I’m just bummed out about the suicide fence. Can we at least get 24 hour access to the bridge in exchange for the suicide fence?



    Part of what makes the proposal so good is that the pedestrian path does not need a suicide fence (because the lower outside bike path gets it) so pedestrian would have unobstructed views, albeit closer to traffic. Such a missed opportunity.



    Also, the better path further from traffic is supposed to be for cyclists alone leaving pedestrians right next to trucks? Expect lots walkers and joggers to take the nicer route.



    90 million for the wider lanes? Is this the ideal spot for a cross hudson walking and cycling connection?

    If a new bridge is $250 million, would a better sited (and more expensive) new bridge serve more pedestrians and cyclists with less total delay per dollar spent than spending 90 million to improve the GWB?


    Brian Van Nieuwenhoven

    So Neile is correct… after proposing small improvements to the bicycling experience and getting supportive press releases (on an almost instant, overnight turnaround deadline) regarding those changes, the PA is now using those releases as political cover to maintain their existing plan.

    I wonder what Transportation Alternatives and NJBWC would say if directly asked the question, “Would you support wider paths on the GWB?” I don’t the answer would be to leave everything exactly as it is planned now.

    There are not merely “pinch points”. The current paths are only 6.5 feet wide (between the cables) for nearly the entire length. There’s no significant space between the cable portals for a cyclist to consider usable lane width for spacing apart. At best, pedestrians can step to the side after walking through the cable portals in order to maintain a straight ROW for cyclists… but quite often this does not happen. And you don’t need to be going very fast on a bike to find yourself having a bunch of situations where you have to stop short or come to a halt (particularly around the blind corners at the tower portals)



    Just like on the Manhattan Bridge the proposed suicide fence is inside-out, with the posts jutting into the bike path rather than a smooth, forgiving side.


    Snidely Bikelash

    The crashes (page 10 of the first PDF) increase as you go south, but they’re not doing anything for the southernmost 3 blocks which are collectively the most dangerous? The only fatality on the route during this period was at Schermerhorn, which is untouched.

    I hope to see some data on this lane in a few years time. How many people are using it compared to today, what percentage of people riding use the lane as opposed to riding in the general lanes, and how much has safety improved?

    Compared to the status quo it’s going to be very easy to make this low hanging fruit look good, but let’s compare it to other protected lanes in New York as well as those in other cities in the United States rather than comparing it to the bad old days and declaring “Mission Accomplished!” Streetsblog published some comparative data years ago that showed a huge difference in the safety of NYC’s various protected bike lanes, but absolutely nothing came of it.



    Those people don’t want to drive to Teterboro or some airport in Long Island or Westchester.

    More likely, the smaller airports don’t have the flights people want:

    Teterboro flights per day: 419
    Islip flights per day: 499
    LGA flights per day: 1003

    Additionally, flights from these airports are often more expensive, and you have to transfer too. On the other hand, the security lines aren’t as bad, so at least there’s that.

    e.g. for this weekend:
    LGA-MIA: $354 (nonstop)
    ISP-MIA: $464 (with 2 stops)
    TEB-MIA: no flights



    Great op-eds from Komanoff and Biederman. Another good one:



    It’s terrible how cut-off the park is from surrounding neighborhoods. It feels like the space is mostly roads.



    Good on DOT for moving forward with the off-ramp fixes. It’s been screaming out for changes for years and I’m glad community board obstruction isn’t getting the final word here. This should be SOP for safety fixes in the Vision Zero age.



    The moment of truth. And that signal can be pedestrian-activated (as in it only turns red when a pedestrian hits the button)



    Thousands of drunks at my subway stop has also been less than ideal. But for the hour or two they spend milling around the arena, they are in the bike lanes, waking people with their yelling, peeing publicly, and so on. There are some cops around, but the scale of what’s going on is just overwhelming. Barclays has been a terrible neighbor in a lot of ways, but adding the Islanders last year made things even worse.



    Flushing Meadow Park is not some underused open space needing a new arena, but an overflowing, well-used asset for the surrounding and growing Latino neighborhoods. Most of these people arrive on foot pushing strollers, and on bicycle. They’re even in the park in the evenings, outnumbering the US Open crowds walking from remote parking lots.

    Looking at the map, so much of the park is gone. If anything, the City should be turning some of the park roads and lots back into fields.



    Well put, I think that’s exactly right. It’s also excessive to have one-sport stadiums all over the place when a multi-use facility can do the job. I’d rather not kill any trees to build a new stadium in Flushing.



    Moving it west is kind of dumb. Refusing to at least consider supplementing the buses with a trans-Hudson rail service is also kind of dumb.

    Basically, they’re putting no thought at all into the fact that they’re screwing the future. For generations.



    Update from this morning. SBS is 10 minutes late arriving to West 207th. Crush conditions. Crawls down Fordham Road in traffic at 8am. Multiple bus lane violations. I timed 25 minutes from West 207th to Fordham Metro North. This is a distance of 2.0 miles.

    I would just ride this route on my bike but Fordham looks and feels kind of suicidal on a bike, like a Bronx version of Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn.



    I wish the Islanders gave Barclay’s more time; it takes time to develop and grow a fan base. Of course it was a huge planning error to permit Barclay’s to be built without hockey accommodations, like virtually every other arena in the northern hemisphere.

    If those hockey fans are drunk, it is much better to have them departing Barclay’s on the LIRR or subway than departing Nassau Coliseum behind the wheel. Mike: Sorry about the boisterous drunks, although like policing desnudas and elmos in Times Square, this sounds like an enforcement issue and not a reason for a change-of-use.

    Transit advocates should come out strongly against a move to Flushing or Belmont. Flushing is difficult coming from most of Long Island b/c it doesn’t connect from Jamaica, the transfer point for 8 LIRR lines. (As a kid without a drivers license, I stopped going to Flushing for US Open Tennis when it moved from Forest Hills to Flushing and I never took the LIRR from Long Island to a Mets game.)
    Belmont is just a part-time spur station that I’m guessing is a pain to use, although I could be wrong.



    Regarding the new bus terminal, the Port Authority seems to be on the wrong track. They want to move the terminal a block to the west, *away* from the 8th Ave subway and farther away from the Midtown destinations where most bus terminal passengers are headed. If that’s the alternative, you might as well place the terminal in New Jersey and transfer the passengers onto some sort of train transport—be it an extension of the 7 train, an extension of PATH, or NJTransit trains running through the Gateway project tunnels. It’s inconvenient to force people to transfer, but it’s just as inconvenient to make them shlep across the Far West Side to get to work or to a subway connection. It would be expensive to build a new tunnel, but it’s just as expensive to buy an entire block of Midtown West in order to build the new terminal.



    That’s so strange to me. If I were driving a bus with a button to issue tickets I’d be giddy with power!