“You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow
This opportunity comes once in a lifetime, yo.”
George Washington Bridge: One chance for a wider bike path.
Neile Weissman, cycling advocate, recumbent rider and one of the best bicycle day-trip leaders I’ve ever ridden with, has been advocating for the past few years to widen the bicycle-pedestrian paths on the George Washington Bridge.
In 2012, cyclists became aware of plans by the Port Authority of NY & NJ to recable the George Washington Bridge. Although this project would take the better part of decade and involve gutting its bike and pedestrian paths, the Port Authority had announced no plans to maintain access to those on bike, foot, or wheelchair.
So Weissman and other cyclists began a campaign to a) secure ADA-compliant access for the duration of the recabling; and b) to realize the once-in-a-lifespan opportunity to expand the GWB’s capacity to match the growth of bicycle traffic expected for the rest of this century.
The campaign appeared both reasonable and natural, given the growing crowds on the Bridge path; the 6% target for bike use set by both NY and NJ; and that these goals accorded with Port Authority’s own statements and mandates.
In March 2014, PANYNJ announced it would undertake a number of improvements to the GWB paths including upgrades to both NY-NJ entrances, the removal of stairs on the North Path, and the inclusion of anti-suicide barriers.
While welcomed and advised, these changes paled next to another announcement: That PANYNJ would keep the main spans of the Path at their current 6.75′ — less than half that recommended for “high use” — effectively making the GWB “walk-your-bike” through the rest of the century.
Which, if you consider that the GWB connects two of the most heavily traveled bike corridors in the US; Hudson Greenway and 9W, is one heck of a disconnect. So the advocacy continues.
There are two quick and easy things you can do to help improve access on the GWB:
1. Ask your NYC Council Member to support Resolution 1072-2016.
Co-sponsored by Transportation Chair Ydanis Rodriguez and CM Costa Constantinides, 1072-2016 calls upon the Port Authority to widen the GWB paths as part of the upcoming recabling. And if they already support the resolution, thank them!
2. Share this with your friends and on your social media.
That’s it. Thank you!
This message is from Neile Weissman with “Complete George.”
– To find your local Council Member, click here.
– For the text of 1072-2016, click here.
– For more info on widening the GWB, click here.
– For an online version of this press release, click here.
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