Daelin Fischman, co-chair of Harbor Ring, writes an op-ed on MTA’s secret report

Daelin Fischman isn’t satisfied with the recent report the MTA released, and voices his opinion on why it isn’t enough.

“The latest proposal was funded after years of advocacy pushing for it. Yet, it was never publicly released. Instead, Streetsblog had to obtain it via the Freedom of Information Act, like it was some secret CIA report. The plan Streetsblog recovered was a detailed engineering report rife with facts and figures. The one thing missing from the report was a clear way to give pedestrians and cyclists access to the bridge. The directive given by the public to the MTA was ‘find a way to give us bridge access.’ The report’s troubled conclusion is that access is not possible without $350 million and 20 years to wait.

We reject that conclusion. The final report that was dragged out of the MTA is a betrayal of the public directive.” – Daelin Fischman

You can read more here

Andrew Yang voices his support to complete the Harbor Ring Route after his recent visit to Staten Island

Andrew Yang releases a transit plan that includes completing the Harbor Ring route by looking at different options to build a bike path and pedestrian walkway over the Verrazzano Bridge.

Said Andrew Yang, “Staten Island has long been deprived of efficient and essential transportation infrastructure that would ease New Yorkers’ mobility between all five boroughs. My plan involves expanding existing systems such as ferry and bus services, making more accessible transit for disabled commuters, exploring new transportation infrastructure such as a bike lane on the Verrazano Bridge, and more. My administration will be focused on rebuilding New York not as it was, but how it should be, and that means a more unified, interconnected city.”

Eric Adams and Shaun Donovan, two NYC Mayoral candidates, endorse the Harbor Ring and public access to the Verrazzano

Two NYC Mayoral candidates endorse the Harbor Ring and public access to the Verrazzano in an exclusive by Streetsblog.

Eric Adams says, “I would also direct the DOT to investigate how we connect the missed connections in our cycling network, including the Harbor Ring and expanded cycling access over bridges such as the Verrazzano-Narrows. This is a simple and quick way to advance a true cycling network, even if that means using temporary infrastructure until we have capital resources to fully build out the network.”

Shaun Donovan states, “I will get the Verrazzano Bridge opened for pedestrians and cyclists, implement an upgrade to the Brooklyn Bridge pedestrian and cycling path, study road use for bikes on the 59th street bridge, build a protected bike lane in Astoria between the 59th Street and Triboro bridges, and improve bridge crossings between the Bronx and northern Manhattan.”

MTA’s hidden report finally released after years of FOIL requests

After years of FOIL requests by Streetsblog, the MTA finally released a report for building a bicycle and pedestrian lane on the Verrazzano bridge in December 2020. The report completely abandoned several viable options presented by the bridge’s original designers (Ammann & Whitney), instead presenting several focus groups with an extremely jazzed up plan that came with a superfluous price tag. Gersh, of Streetsblog has the latest.

The never seen before report, obtained by Streetsblog, below.

Voices for the Verrazzano Video

Thank you to all who joined us last Saturday for a successful video launch of Voices for the Verrazzano. We have lots of work to do, but we’re excited for the relaunch of this campaign with our partners at Transportation Alternatives and Bike South Brooklyn.

If you missed it, check out the recorded version courtesy of Anna Lise Jensen (Bike South Brooklyn)!

Join us for the Verrazzano’s 56th birthday at our “Voices for the Verrazzano” Virtual Watch Party on November 21st at 12:00pm

It’s the Verrazzano’s 56th birthday on Saturday, November 21st, 2020! In honor of this day, we will be hosting a remote “nonopening” event (since the bridge was never open to pedestrians and bicycle riders like its initial plans had included).

Join us, Transportation Alternatives, and Bike South Brooklyn for a virtual watch party where we will speak about why we advocate for pedestrian and bicycle access on the Verrazzano, feature a 5-minute video of community organizations, our councilmen, and locals like yourselves who support our cause, and have an open discussion with a moderator answering your questions concerning this issue at hand and what you can do to help! Hope to see you there!

Live stream at: bit.ly/OpenTheVNB

MTA New York City Transit Introduces Bicycle Racks To Buses

bike_racks

Starting on Sunday, September 6, MTA New York City Transit will add bicycle racks on two Staten Island bus routes, the first time that such equipment has been made available for public use on NYC Transit.

The yearlong Bike & Ride pilot will roll out on the S53 and S93 routes, which run between Staten Island and the Bay Ridge section of Brooklyn over the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. The two lines were chosen for their safe access to current and planned bicycle paths, ridership and routes, which serve a major college campus where bicycling is a popular commuting option.

“Bringing the Bike & Ride program to the S53 and S93 will increase the mobility of students who are traveling between home and campus. Before this program, our customers had no direct way to travel with their bicycles on public transportation between Brooklyn and Staten Island. Now customers can take advantage of the city’s bike lanes and greenways without worrying about how to transport their bicycles,” said Darryl C. Irick, President of MTA Bus and Senior Vice President, NYC Transit Department of Buses. “A future expansion will depend on results of this pilot and will most likely focus on routes that cross bridges.”

Full MTA press release is HERE.

The Harbor Ring applauds the MTA’s efforts to introduce bicycle racks on the S53 & s93 bus routes. It is a welcome addition to the city’s growing infrastructure for both current and future cyclists. We are certain Bike & Ride will be a success, just as similar programs have been in cities all over the country that have long had bike racks as standard equipment across their vehicular fleets. However, one bus carrying two bicycles is by no means a solution for our city’s overwhelming transportation deficiencies. We continue our campaign urging the MTA to create separated bicycle and pedestrian pathways across the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge that would offer toll free connectivity between Brooklyn and Staten Island.

Welcome to the Harbor Ring!

“Putting a pedestrian and bike crossing on the Verrazano Bridge is a wonderful idea — the bridge needs it, and I’m certain New Yorkers would love it and use it….I encourage the MTA and City officials to at least take a look at the potential and determine if it could work.”
~Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, October 4, 2014

Did you ever think about what great photos of Manhattan you could take on the Verrazano Bridge?  Have you wanted to ride your bike in a complete circle around the New York Harbor, traveling through two states and three boroughs to end up right back where you started?  Did you ever wish you could cross from Staten Island to Brooklyn without paying a toll, catching a bus, or dealing with traffic?

We’re the Harbor Ring Committee, and we want to make these wishes a reality.

The Harbor Ring Committee has been working since 2011 to promote a 50-mile loop of bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure encircling the New York Harbor, including the main missing link: a multi-use path across the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. Through our petition for a Verrazano Bridge multi-use path, our regional route map, and our tireless collaboration with organizations and individuals throughout the New York City metro area, we want to improve safe access to affordable transportation within the region.  By connecting New Yorkers and tourists alike to the Harbor Ring route’s most iconic destinations, best recreational opportunities, and most unique local businesses, the Harbor Ring will foster increased economic activity and active living.

In 2014, the Verrazano Bridge turns 50 years old, bringing to light a half century of demand for a walkable, bikeable path.  We’ll be announcing some exciting plans to make sure our voices are heard–stay tuned!