The PA gets it right on the Bayonne, but it needs to fix its overall bike policy so the region can get the infrastructure it needs.
Remarks to Port Authority of NY&NJ, 12/12/19
Last month I biked across the Bayonne Bridge. Today I will compare that to biking across the George Washington Bridge. Also, to comment on the Agency’s cycling policy.
Simply, the Bayonne is great. 12 foot wide. No obstructions. Simple entrances get you on and off. Raising the main span means you now have a 0.7 mile climb with a 5% grade – which will certainly improve regional fitness.
George Washington Bridge
The George, by comparison has a “user-friendly” 1% grade. But it also has a 7 foot wide path with pairs of columns every 60 foot. And on peak days it gets traffic twenty times that of the Bayonne.1 So crossing can be an intense affair.
Add the coming increase in mode share and the Agency’s plan to encourage assembly at entrances2 and you have a predictable exercise in dysfunction.
LaGuardia Airport, World Trade Center
This week, an Agency memo surfaced that sharply restricted bike access to LaGuardia Airport.3 It included this sentence:
“The only thing worse than being injured while riding a bicycle or scooter is being the driver of a vehicle that strikes the person or the scooter.”
That statement is wrong in so many ways. Mostly because it signals an Agency bias that marginalizes cycling – at LaGuardia, across the George, even to exclude bike parking from the World Trade Center Campus. Not even Citi Bike.4
And it comes in a year when twenty five NYC cyclists were killed by cars because they didn’t have the infrastructure to keep them safe.
Last month, NYC committed to spend $1.7 billion to extend Vision Zero improvements.5
Last week, Amazon, DHL and UPS announced a pilot program using electric cargo bikes to distribute package goods.6 This is an obvious good idea which the Agency doesn’t support.
The PA got right on the Bayonne, but it needs to fix its overall bike policy so the region can get the infrastructure it needs at its terminals and crossings.
1 “3700 cyclists per day across the GWB vs. 150-200 per day for the Bayonne, Capacity and Demand”, Complete George, https://tinyurl.com/jpcfphq
2 “Eight Ways the PA’s Plan to “Restore the George” Gets it Wrong”, Ibid, http://tinyurl.com/ybeo524b
3 “New LaGuardia Bike Policy Blames Cyclists for Ruining Drivers’ Lives”, StreetsBlog, 12/9/19, https://tinyurl.com/swb5sew
4 “It is absurd that NJ/NY spent BILLIONS on a major transportation hub with ZERO (CitiBike) stations at the (WTC) campus”, Noel Hidalgo (Twitter), https://tinyurl.com/vcabfta
5 “After Spike in Deaths, New York to Get 250 Miles of Protected Bike Lanes”, NY Times, 10/28/2019, https://tinyurl.com/sgrn4yj
6 “New City Cargo Bike Delivery Program is Absolutely Perfect, Except…”, Streetsblog, 12/5/19, https://tinyurl.com/wyh54j8