2021/09 – CBDTP

Remarks to MTA on Central Business District Tolling Program (CBDTP), 9/23/21

Good morning, my name is Neile Weissman.  I head up Complete George—two hundred organizations, communities and public officials calling for wider bikeways across the George Washington Bridge.1

I bring to your attention a proposal for New York City DOT and Parks to designate five hundred miles of urban bikeways (“Grayways”).2  This network would reduce resident cost of travel, extend access to green space and provide numerous opportunities for exercise and recreation.

Consistent with the goals of the Tolling Program, it would mitigate congestion, improve air quality, bridge transport deserts and facilitate multi-modal trips in the outer boroughs. Consider Tokyo—a city of 13 million where 90% commute by mass transit, one-third bike the first-and-last-mile.3

This network would harden the region against widespread transport outage.  In the days following Superstorm Sandy, when mass transit was halted and gas lines stretched for miles, bike traffic across East River Bridges surged from 13,000 per day to 30,000.4

And reducing vehicle miles traveled by encouraging people to bike is our most cost-effective strategy to reduce greenhouse emissions from transport.5

Key impediments to this scheme, however, are the MTA’s seven toll bridges, which are ideally placed to facilitate bike travel to the outer boroughs, yet none currently support cycling.6

MTA Bridges overlayed on NYC bike grid. Image NYCDOT.

Accordingly, l call on the MTA to embrace the Biaggi/Gonzalez-Rojas bikes-on-bridges advisory board and to allocate the resources needed to effect its recommendations.7

Neile Weissman, 2021


1 Complete George, https://tinyurl.com/4ktdxjsy

2 “Grayways,” Complete George, https://tinyurl.com/5ch7etcd

3 With real estate by train stations so expensive, automated, underground bicycle parking systems have been developed to increase capacity, “Japanese Underground Bike Parking Systems,” YouTube, https://tinyurl.com/7f8jukmf

4 “Sandy Caused a Mini Bike Boom in NYC, “WNYC, 11/5/12, https://tinyurl.com/yalsj74u

5 “A (global) increase in cycling could save $24 trillion cumulatively between 2015 and 2050 and cut CO2 emissions from urban passenger transport by nearly 11%.” “A Global High Shift Cycling Scenario,” Institute for Transportation and Development Policy, 2015, https://tinyurl.com/y9qpz7xb

6 “The Real Reason We Can’t Bike Over MTA Bridges,” StreetsBlog, 6/6/19, https://tinyurl.com/y2rmyqly

7 NYS Senate 04943B / Assembly 06235B, https://tinyurl.com/29mvn8s8

Chiarella Marine Parkway
Marine Parkway Bridge. Image John Chiarella.