LONG ISLAND CITY, Queens, N.Y. — A city councilman representing Queens addressed one method of making the Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge safer. The councilman announced that separating the biking and walking lanes from all other traffic on the Bridge would make a difference. This announcement came Tuesday, April 30, 2019, according to ABC 7 NY. The city council member’s proposal was backed by many but panned by others. Opponents decried the plan by arguing that the amount of traffic having separate and exclusive bicycle lanes on the Queensboro Bridge would create would lead to insufferable conditions.
Proponents of the councilman’s plan argued plainly yet persuasively. One person who commutes to work on a motor scooter said that the bridge is too crowded. The commuter said that in the past the bridge could accommodate the daily traffic volume without unnecessary interruption and delay. Today is a different story. The commuter said that the volume of people walking and riding bikes over the Queensboro Bridge requires the Department of Transportation to investigate a method to alleviate traffic while enhancing the safety of people who choose to use alternate means of traveling over the bridge.
The councilman’s proposal calls for converting the outer most southbound lane of the bridge into a walkway and the outermost lane on the northbound side into a dedicated bicycle lane. A transportation advocate compared the Queensboro Bridge to two spans serving Brooklyn. The advocate argued that each of those bridges has dedicated bike lanes and pedestrian lanes, and therefore, the Department of Transportation should construct the appropriate lanes on the Queensboro Bridge.
The Queensboro Bridge accommodates thousands of pedestrians and bicycle riders every day who travel between Queens and Manhattan. The current path is a mixture of walkers and bicycle riders. City officials concede that many people have been hurt on that one path because of overcrowding and confusion about which way to go. The city council member wants the Department of Transportation to start the planning phase now for the project instead of waiting until the current work is done.
Many people object to the plan. They shared concerns that reducing the amount of space for cars on the bridge will make traffic even worse.
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