STATEN ISLAND, NY – August 24, 2020 – According to an online news report published on SILive.com, cycling safety advocates launched an Internet petition pressing the MTA to implement a bicycle lane across the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge. The online petition was initiated after a tweet of a cyclist riding a bike across the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge went viral. The tweet inspired revived interest for a bicycle lane on the famous bridge. Specifically, the Internet petition asks New York City Governor Andrew Cuomo and the MTA to transform one car lane on the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge into a bicycle lane.
The petition points out that the Verrazzano Bridge has 13 lanes and that by converting one of the lanes for bicycles and pedestrians would support green mobility. Also, the current economic uncertainty would allow people to use more cost-efficient transportation if the lane existed.
The online petition was created by Steve Quigley. Steve is a Grant City resident who noticed the cyclist riding toward Staten Island on the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge, and he took a photo that quickly became viral on Twitter.com. According to Steve, the image was funny. He stated that the cyclist was “hugging the right lane” while biking along the lower level, Staten Island lane at approximately 10 in the morning. Steve stated that the cyclist did not seem to upset the drivers who passed the cyclist, and every driver appeared to be “minding their own business.”
The MTA announced their disapproval of the cyclist using the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge. Aaron Donovan, a spokesperson for the MTA, stated that cycling on the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge is against the law due to safety. The MTA also stated that the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge could not have a bike/pedestrian lane without hindering motor vehicle traffic. The MTA spokesperson stated that the MTA network’s motor vehicle traffic is “back to near pre-pandemic levels,” and this bicycle/pedestrian lane would “gridlock the bridge for motorists and bus customers.”
The MTA has purchases bike racks for MTA buses S53 and S93 that transport passengers across the bridge in both directions. The MTA also states that they have prioritized bus routes, especially for cyclists, so they are able to travel between Staten Island and Brooklyn.
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