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Queens Chronicle

Does bridge need barriers for bikes?

State looking at ways to protect cyclists crossing Addabbo Bridge

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Posted: Thursday, April 18, 2019 10:30 am

The unprotected bike lanes over the Joseph P. Addabbo Bridge between Howard Beach and Broad Channel may be getting barriers to separate cyclists from car and truck traffic whizzing by.

In its latest report about road projects statewide, the state Department of Transportation revealed it has begun a study of bike traffic on the bridge, a preliminary step to installing some type of protection.

The bike trip through Howard Beach and over the Addabbo Bridge is notorious among bike riders on their way to and from the Rockaways.

“#Murderstrip” — a social-media expression used by cyclists to describe what they consider to be dangerous stretches of road for riders — has been applied to the bike path on the bridge.

“Addabbo bridge is scary to ride next to cars driving 60,” read a tweet from an Astoria rider with the online name DaaaaveTV. “Especially when a f*ing ice cream truck or giant garbage bag is blocking the lane.”

“It gets pretty busy in summer,” said Laura Shepard, communications coordinator for Bike New York, sponsors of the popular Five Boro Bike Tour, and advocate for bike safety.

“The problem is that there is no physical barrier separating the cars zooming by at 60 miles an hour,” said Shepard, also the chairperson for Transportation Alternatives’ Queens Committee.

“Everybody who rides there feels intensely vulnerable.”

News of the bridge bike lane study is contained in a large report released April 9 about rerouting bike traffic through Howard Beach onto the streets next to Spring Creek Park.

“There are segments,” the report notes, “particularly along the Joseph P. Addabbo Bridge, where the buffer disappears and the width of the bicycle lane is reduced to 4 feet which provides cyclists with little protection from motor vehicles along this busy arterial.”

The route down Cross Bay and over the Addabbo Bridge is one of two ways to get to the Rockaways by bike from most of central Queens.

The alternative route, which is at least twice as long, veers off Cross Bay before it enters Howard Beach and runs through the Greenway around Jamaica Bay. Riders have to cross the Gil Hodges Bridge in Brooklyn to reach the peninsula.

“Direct route was the preferred route identified through community planning process,” the report noted.

Community Board 10, which covers Howard Beach and the bridge, would get a chance to vote on any new barriers, if the DOT decides to install them. But its decision is advisory and not the final say.

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1 comment:

  • Eugene posted at 10:55 am on Sat, Apr 20, 2019.

    Eugene Posts: 46

    Just so long as no federal funds are used for the barriers.

    New York State is not eligible for federal highway funds because the state does not comply with the U.S. Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices.

    Take a licensed Professional Engineer on a drive through NYC. Visit the airports or drive on almost any street. Visit small towns. The MUTCD is virtually unknown. Never mind requirements of the NYS Supplement. And one of the worst offenders is the NY State Department of Transportation. Have a ride on NY 878 in the Five Towns or Sunrise Highway (NY 27).