Bike Advocates Kick Off Marketing campaign for Lanes on East River Bridges – Streetsblog New York Metropolis
Activists with Transportation Options launched a marketing campaign this week to convey bike lanes to the roadbed of each East River bridge, which they are saying is critical for the security and luxury of cyclists and pedestrians as biking burgeons on the landmark crossings.
TA’s Brooklyn activist committee goes all-in on remaking the Manhattan, Williamsburg and Brooklyn bridges with the Bridges4People campaign, the aim of which is to take two lanes of site visitors from every bridge and convert them to two-way bike lanes.
“This second requires citywide, transformative pondering, and this can be a transformative marketing campaign,” marketing campaign volunteer Katherine Willis mentioned. “Now greater than ever we see that there’s widespread demand to bike round NYC, however the metropolis doesn’t have infrastructure for folks to bike in giant numbers. The bridges between Manhattan and Brooklyn are a selected chokepoint that cease folks from biking between the 2 boroughs.”
The numbers, each current and historic, help Willis’s competition. At the same time as town’s financial system has slowed throughout the coronavirus pandemic, biking numbers over town’s important East River bridges have climbed as native biking has boomed. Division of Transportation stats present that the common variety of cyclists traversing the three Brooklyn connections and the Queensboro Bridge rose to a median of 23,029 cyclists a day in August, a 22.37 % rise over the 18,819 every day riders in the identical month final yr.
On a median weekday in August, 16,341 cyclists went over the Manhattan, Brooklyn and Williamsburg bridges, a 4.6 % enhance over 2019’s 15,621 every day cyclists.
Biking has risen on the three Brooklyn-Manhattan crossings for many years; historical DOT data shows tons of and even hundreds proportion will increase in biking on the East River bridges since 1980:
- Williamsburg Bridge 24-hour bicycle owner depend 1980: 221
Williamsburg Bridge 24-hour bicycle owner depend 2019: 7,089
Improve: 3,107 %
- Brooklyn Bridge 24-hour bicycle owner depend 1980: 866
Brooklyn Bridge 24-hour bicycle owner depend 2019: 2,558
Improve: 195 %
- Manhattan Bridge 24-hour bicycle owner depend 2004*: 1,203
Manhattan Bridge 24-hour bicycle owner depend 2019: 6,008
Improve: 399 %
- Brooklyn Bridge 2008: 123,781 autos
Brooklyn Bridge 2016: 119,735 autos
Lower 3.7 %
- Williamsburg Bridge 2008: 10,6783 autos
Williamsburg Bridge 2018: 104,722 autos
Lower 1.9 %
- Manhattan Bridge 2008: 70,341 autos
Manhattan Bridge 2018: 75,362 autos
Improve: 7 %
Regardless of the large leap in cyclists utilizing the bridges, cyclists and pedestrians nonetheless should share cramped paths on the Brooklyn Bridge and the Manhattan aspect of the Williamsburg Bridge. Furthermore, a rising variety of cyclists use the (exceedingly slender) six-and-half foot-wide bike path on the Manhattan Bridge. At the same time as crowds of cyclists and pedestrians have squeezed collectively as a way to cross the East River, drivers get pleasure from eight lanes on the Williamsburg Bridge, seven lanes on the Manhattan Bridge and 6 lanes on the Brooklyn Bridge.
Advocates say that decreasing auto lanes lessens air air pollution for communities round bridge approaches and exits, and even that eating places and different companies close to the bridges that supply native supply may broaden their supply areas with “extra dependable, decreased biking journey occasions throughout the bridge.”
Additionally they argue that, no less than within the case of the Brooklyn Bridge, inviting cyclists onto the roadbed would return the legendary span to its multimodal roots. The span once moved more than 400,000 people a day with house dedicated to streetcars, elevated railroads and pedestrians.
The marketing campaign is kicking off at a time of bigger conversations about the way forward for town’s East River crossings. Visitors analyst Charles Komanoff has predicted that congestion pricing will shrink by 25 % the falling variety of vehicles coming into Manhattan over the East River bridges, if and when the program ever gets out of federal purgatory. Transportation leaders additionally appear to be bending to calls for to open the South Outer Roadway of the Queensboro Bridge to pedestrians, with DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg not too long ago saying that she would welcome funding for the project from Council Members Jimmy Van Bramer and Ben Kallos.
The bridges are also a problem within the 2021 mayoral election, as Comptroller Scott Stringer and City Council Speaker Corey Johnson have made bicycling the Brooklyn Bridge a marketing campaign plank. Even so, Mayor de Blasio questioned the workability of placing a motorbike lane on the roadbed of the Brooklyn Bridge when he was requested about it not too long ago.
The brand new push additionally comes on the heels of an formidable plans to pedestrianize decrease Manhattan and the Brooklyn Bridge approach in Downtown Brooklyn, though these plans haven’t progressed past architectural renderings.
*The separate bike path on the Manhattan Bridge opened in 2004