News 12 New Jersey, April 20, 2018
A reconstruction project on the George Washington Bridge is underway, but some cyclists say that the plans don’t include a sufficient bike path.
Bike advocates like Neile Weissman say that the bike path on the bridge should be made wider to comply with national standards.
“The George connects the two most heavily biked roads in the country, 9W and Hudson Greenway…that’s connecting a firehose with a straw,” Weissman says.
Any changes to the reconstruction plans would need to happen soon, as the project is set for completion by 2025.
“The Port Authority says it’s going to cost $90 million to do this now. If they wait until 2050, which is a generation away, it’s going to cost more than four times that much. If they’re not going to do this now, then it’s not getting to get done,” Weissman says.
The bridge currently has a mixed pedestrian-bike path that runs 10 feet across on either side of the bridge (7 foot between sets of cables). The new plan calls for the same 7-foot bike path, which cyclists say will lead to overcrowding.
Instead of one 7-foot path, Weissman wants to see two 10-foot paths – one on either side of the bridge.
The New York City Department of Transportation counted 3700 bike trips a day on weekends in 2015.
Weissman says that bicycle riding has really taken off, with six towns in Hudson implementing bike-share programs and Bergen County putting together plans to link all the county parks with bike paths.
“The Port Authority has really missed what’s going on,” he says.
A spokesperson for the Port Authority pointed News 12 New Jersey to the agency’s current bike path plan. They noted that that the new plan separates pedestrians and cyclists for a better “user experience.”