StreetsBlog Council Members: DOT Has ‘No Reason’ to Not Give Queensboro Bridge Lane to Pedestrians by Gersh Kuntzman
The city’s failure to give more space to the increasing number of pedestrians and cyclists on the Queensboro Bridge is a betrayal of Vision Zero — and that failure seems based on a fealty to car traffic on a span where bikes and walkers sometimes outnumber drivers.
East Side Council Member Ben Kallos and his Queens counterpart Jimmy Van Bramer blasted Department of Transportation officials for their continued claim that they cannot convert the south side of the bridge’s outermost lane, also known as the South Outer Roadway, into a pedestrian path so that walkers do not need to share the bridge’s narrow North Outer Roadway with cyclists, who are increasing by double-digit counts.
Two Manhattan bike projects went before community boards last night. The CB 8 transportation committee heard from DOT about the agency’s plan forcrosstown bike lanes on the Upper East Side, and CB 4 endorsed the protected lane on Sixth Avenue, which DOT plans to install in the fall.
The crosstown painted lanes would span the width of the Upper East Side, providing safer east-west access for a neighborhood that currently has only one bike lane pair — 90th and 91st streets. The new bike lane pairs are East 67th and 68th streets between Fifth and York, 77th and 78th Streets between Fifth and John Jay Park, and 84th and 85th Streets between Fifth and East End. After the eastern termini at Cherokee Place and East End Avenue, shared lanes will guide cyclists to parks and the East River Esplanade greenway.
Speaking before the meeting, Council Member Ben Kallos was supportive of the proposal. “I am for a complete street proposal that provides a protected bike lane to provide pedestrians, cyclists and motorists a safe way to use the street,” he told Streetsblog.
DOT already maps NYPD crash data for all streets citywide, albeit by intersection, so we know the streets where crashes occur. What the public doesn’t know is whether police are concentrating enforcement in areas where it’s most needed to prevent crashes. In 2014 Council Member Ben Kallos introduced a bill to require the city to release and map data on all moving violations — including date, time, and latitude and longitude coordinates — to be published at least once a month. Though Rodriguez is listed as a co-sponsor of the Kallos bill, it went nowhere.
While the latest expansion is exciting, the station density on the Upper East and Upper West sides is lower than both the existing Citi Bike service area and DOT’s own density targets. This makes bike-share less convenient, potentially hampering ridership in two of the city’s densest neighborhoods. At this morning’s event, Daily News transit reporter Dan Rivoli asked about station density, and Kallos said he would welcome additional bike-share stations in the neighborhood.
As part of a raft of bills on government data and transparency, Council Member Ben Kallos has introduced legislation that would require the city to release and map data about where NYPD issues moving violations, among other things. The bill would open up new traffic enforcement information to the public...
StreetsBlog Council Members Rally With StreetsPAC (and Bicycles) on City Hall Steps by Stephen Miller
Kallos said he is working with Bike New York to make Roosevelt Island a model bike-friendly community and urged DOT to install better bike lanes on crosstown streets. He is hosting a forum on beautifying pedestrian islands along the First Avenue bike lane tonight, as well as a forum in June focused on working with restaurants and delivery cyclists. He also urged Streetsblog readers to fill out a survey on his website to help identify livable streets needs in his district.