The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) recently released a preliminary report on its Verrazano-Narrows Bridge Master Plan — including conceptual views of possible shared-use paths on the bridge.
The current proposals are much more ambitious than previous bridge path designs, and the costs reflect that – estimated to be between $300 and $400 million. The encouraging part is that the MTA has seemingly put real effort and resources into finally building a walking and bicycling connection between Staten Island and Brooklyn.
You can view the entire MTA presentation HERE.
Over 200 supporters joined us in Bay Ridge to show support for a pedestrian and bicycle path on the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge! Much thanks to Senator Marty Golden, Councilman Vincent Gentile, the Bay Ridge Merchants of Third Avenue, the Staten Island Athletic Club, the Staten Island Bicycle Association, and the Five Boro Bicycle Club for lending their voices to the cause!
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.
Runners and cyclists, commuters and tourists, Staten Islanders and Brooklynites…No matter who you are, you’ve made it clear: you want to be able to walk and ride over the Verrazano Bridge! Hundreds of the Harbor Ring’s supporters have commented on our petition for a multi-use path on the bridge:
“This is important to me because public transportation off and on Staten Island is limited. I have wondered for a long time why there isn’t already a pedestrian path across the bridge, since most NYC bridges do allow pedestrians. This would certainly make travel to Brooklyn much easier especially when money is tight.” -Vincent, Staten Island
“Alternate access to parks and historic sites in Staten Island besides the roundabout way using the crowded ferry that has a limited schedule.” -Emily, Brooklyn
“I live in Staten Island and it would be way more convenient for me to bike across the bridge to buy food or visit friends and family members.” -David H. Staten Island
“As a native of SI and now a Bay Ridge resident who is carless, this would be a life saver for getting back home, without spending the 1.5+ hour bus trip.” -Andrea, Brooklyn
“I just attempted to walk all five boroughs yesterday, only to find out that pedestrians are not allowed on the Verrazano Bridge! What a disappointment after 25 grueling miles! Please finish the bridge. Thank you!” -Jason, Liverpool, NY
“For increased happiness and a transportation opportunity that is cheaper and an exercise-induced, healthier option to get to my work on Staten Island. I think it also would allow for increased economic opportunities as well.” -Megan, Brooklyn
Let us know your own reason on Twitter @TheHarborRing: Why do YOU want to walk and ride over the Verrazano?
“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!