January/February 1996, p.5
LIRR: National Laggards on Bike Access
The Long IsIand Rail Road is not just the worst provider of bicycle access in the NYC region; it compares unfavorably to what is perhaps the national model for bike access: San Francisco's Caltrain. Commuter rail trains between San Francisco and Silicon Valley to the south now carry-this is not a misprint-24 bikes per train. According to the San Francisco Bike Coalition, the trains are used by 850 bike-carrying passengers a day.
Caltrain removed seats from one car of each train to install bike spaces. Bikes are not permitted on any other cars, but there is no permit requirement, and bikes are allowed on board 24 hours a day.
Adding insult to injury is the LIRR's failure to respond to Transportation Alternatives' November query about improved bicycle access on the new double-decker rail cars the LIRR is currently testing.
Do you want better bike access to LIRR? Write To: Thomas Prendergast, President, LIRR, Jamaica Station, Jamaica, NY 11455-1380.
For the third straight year, Transportation Alternatives has been appointed to a committee that will decide how to distribute $15 million in federal bicycle and pedestrian funding in New York City. Projects funded through the "Transportation Enhancements" program in the past two rounds include: on-street bike racks, Brooklyn, Bronx, and Queens bike path improvements, and a waterside park on the East River.
A four-year T.A. campaign ended in November when the City DOT installed the long-awaited lights on the Willy-B bicycle and pedestrian path. The city also began making spot improvements to the path surface, patching some potholes on the Brooklyn side, and covering the steel plate surface with a gritty skid-resistant paint.
Without timely snow removal, the bike/pedestrian paths on local bridges become difficult to walk on and impossible to bike on Cyclists who remember the winter of 1993-94 (17 snowstorms!) will recall that local bridges were impassable for a solid two months.
This winter, if you spot uncleared snow or ice on any NYC-run bridge, call the Department of Transportation Control Room at 212-442-7070.
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