January/February 1997, p.8-9
T.A. Mounts Campaign To Save QBB Bike Path
Rally, Fax/Postcard Blitz, and Lawsuit All Part of Effort
Over 200 people rallied at a November 12 T.A. action to restore the bicycle and pedestrian path of the Queensboro Bridge (QBB). In late October, the Department of Transportation (DOT) announced a partial ban on cyclists and pedestrians from the Queensboro Bridge. The decision by Commissioner Chris Lynn to open the bike lane to cars from 3-8 pm weekdays was prompted by the general uproar caused by DOT'S disastrous attempt to reroute bridge traffic. The South Outer Roadway of the bridge, the dedicated cyclist and pedestrian lane since mid-1993, is supposed to become the permanent bike/ped lane in late 1999, when reconstruction is done. Given DOT'S history of reneging on its promises, however, we must keep the pressure on to assure the lane is not given over to cars. In 1990, T.A. members successfully fought a City attempt to deny full-time cyclist and pedestrian access, staging 30 T.A. demonstrations and winning a landmark lawsuit.
Since the rally, T.A. has mounted a grassroots campaign to persuade the city to reinstate the bike and pedestrian lane. Thanks go out to all the people who have written letters, sent postcards, handed out flyers and stood in the cold counting cars, bikes and pedestrians using the bridge. Numerous people in Queens and Manhattan have begun to act as liaisons to their local elected officials and community boards. Deputy Mayor Rudy Washington recently asked T.A. why he was getting so many postcards about the bridge. Keep 'em coming!
T.A.'s efforts have already persuaded Borough Presidents Claire Shulman (Queens) and Ruth Messinger (Manhattan), Manhattan Community Boards 6 and 8, and City Council member Gifford Miller to ask for restoration of the bridge path.
Mayor Giuliani: The Grinch Who Stole the Bike Lane
Rather than address the problem of too many cars, the city has bent over backwards to accommodate more driving and more traffic. Are Giuliani and Lynn suffering from some kind of delusion in which they believe that by expanding the auto-carrying capacity of roads and bridges they will reduce traffic? Or, is it all pure politics in which the Mayor is pandering to his increasingly car-dependent supporters outside of Manhattan?
Either way, the result is the same: bicyclists and pedestrians who are part of the solution to car congestion and pollution get punished, while motorists flocking to free crossings like the Queensboro Bridge are rewarded with more pavement and more space.
Broken Promises and Distortions
Act Now to Restore Your Path
T.A. and the cyclists and pedestrians unjustly robbed of their path need you to write, fax and call your city council member. Just a short note asking " what are you doing to restore the Queensboro Bridge bike lane?" is extremely helpful-especially if you live on the East Side of Manhattan or anywhere in Queens. If you need contact information for your representatives, call T.A. Anyone who can help out T.A.'s Queens Committee should also call the T.A. office at (212) 475-4600 so we can put you in touch with Committee Chair Michael Pomanakis.
Contact your city council member, plus Speaker Vallone and Borough President Shulman:
Remember to Ask Them: What Are You Doing Right Now to Restore the QBB Bike and Pedestrian Lane?
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