Friends and supporters of a better George Washington Bridge:
Our campaign to modernize the George Washington Bridge pathways has seen an outpouring of support.
Of the 429 comments received by the Port Authority on their Capital Plan, 252 concerned the George Washington Bridge paths — more than the bus terminals and PATH combined. Of the 80 people who spoke at a meeting, 13 called for George Washington Bridge improvements.
Despite the outcry, the Port Authority board did not vote for expanded paths in its $32 billion capital budget. They’re holding firm to their preferred list of partial improvements: widened approaches and ramps in place of stairs. As a show of compromise, they agreed to improve sight lines at the towers — which will neither increase throughput nor cost the Port Authority anything. Yet some parties are touting this as a “big win for riders.”
Compared with our needs, these enhancements are small change. We’re still on track to see 9,000 cyclist crossings per day by 2024 and, if Walkway over the Hudson and projections for the New Tappan Zee are any indication, a potential influx of walkers. The Port Authority’s improvements will not overcome the deficiencies of the grossly inadequate paths.
With hundreds of millions of dollars in cycle tourism, public health and resiliency at stake, we will continue to press for a proper facility. I am currently researching next steps and welcome all feedback, suggestions, resources or contacts.
Sincere thanks to all of you who contacted the Port Authority, spoke out at a board meeting, discussed the issue with others, or contributed in other ways.
PS> If you haven’t emailed the PA and Governor, it’s still useful to do so.
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Streets Blog NYC chimed in too.
Neile, thanks for spearheading this advocacy work to improve bike travel on the George Washington Bridge, starting when you were president of the New York Cycle Club. I wish more riders and clubs understood that they may live or die depending on the success of their own bicycle advocacy.
GWB and then some,