You are reading

Astoria Leaders and Activists Rally for Safer Triborough Bridge Crossing

(Council Member Costa Constantinides Office)

Sept. 12, 2019 By Allie Griffin

Elected officials and cycling advocates called on the MTA–yet again–to make the RFK Triborough Bridge safer for biking and walking at a rally at the foot of the bridge in Astoria on Thursday.

A stretch of the bridge’s pathway is protected by just a four-foot barrier, leaving bicyclists susceptible to tumbling into the East River below, they said.

The rally follows a letter Council Member Costa Constantinides sent to the MTA President of Bridges and Tunnels on Aug. 30 asking the MTA to install protective fencing and create separate bike and pedestrian lanes along the bridge. 

The MTA has not yet directly indicated whether it will implement these requests and in the meantime the bridge’s pathway remains dangerous for cyclists and pedestrians to use, Constantinides’ office said.

“Biking in New York should not require taking your life into your hands,” said State Sen. Michael Gianaris, who was also at the rally. “Additional protections along the Triborough Bridge are absolutely necessary to protect the safety of cyclists and pedestrians alike.”

(Council Member Costa Constantinides Office)

The lawmakers’ second concern is that the existing pathway is too narrow and that it is shared by bicyclists and pedestrians. 

The closure of the southern pedestrian path a generation ago means those crossing on foot or by bike must share a five-foot wide walkway. As a result, cyclists are required to dismount their bikes and walk across the span or face a fine. They are not permitted to ride across. 

Members of Transportation Alternatives helped bring the dangers of the bridge to the lawmakers’ attention and were also present at the rally and asked that the bridge’s cycling ban be lifted. 

Juan Restrepo, Queens Organizer with Transportation Alternatives, said the practice of ticketing cyclists riding over the span must end and that it must be made safer.

“The implementation of protective fencing is a no brainer and would ensure safe passage for all pedestrians and cyclists crossing the bridge, especially during times of intense winds and disorientation,” Restrepo added. 

The fencing would also prevent suicides, the lawmakers said. City data shows four people have taken their lives by jumping from the bridge since 2015.

“Every other East River bike and pedestrian path has a safe enclosed route and allows for cyclist use,” Restrepo said. “It’s time, the MTA needs to legalize — and make safer — biking and walking on the Triborough Bridge.”

email the author: [email protected]

6 Comments

read the article closely

It is illegal to ride a bike over the Tri-borough bridge…why would elected officials endorse illegal behaviour??

7
34
Reply
jb

It’s one of those if you build it they will come. If the lane was setup for cyclists it would be used more. I’d love to commute over the triboro rather than the qbb but as you said it’s illegal.

9
1
Reply
Pat Macnamara

They bend over backwards for illegals and anything that compromises quality of life for law-abiding citizens. Clueless Costa isn’t qualified to scrape gum off the benches in Astoria park

2
19
Reply
Mike

Costa is useless. My entire block submitted a petition for speed bumps to curtail the out of control speeding and what happened? The city put speed bumps on the wrong block. When asked about why he authorized this, he said we had to submit another petition. Impossible to do when now there is a 70% absentee landlord rate in the Astoria Park area. He initially ran as an advocate to stop the speeding down Astoria’s streets. He rang our bells and promised that that’s what he would do. Instead it is worse than ever now.

It is indeed illegal to ride over the Triboro on bike, always has been. There is a good reason for it. To save your life. Costa is beholden to special interests, just like every other Astoria councilperson has been for the last 40 years.

OUR TAXES AT WORK.

4
36
Reply
Do something real

Can he work on lowering crime and getting the homeless off every street in Astoria instead ?

19
2
Reply
Pat Macnamara

Clueless Costa once again fighting the fight no one really cares about. Meanwhile Steinway street is a ghost town, garbage everywhere, homeless population increasing, crime on the uptick, people getting mugged on subway platforms, but he wants to hold the MTA accountable for some pedestrian walkway hardly anyone uses. People wouldn’t need to use the roadway if MTA service was reliable. Vote this bum out as soon as possible.

15
43
Reply

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News