Western Brooklyn

Harbor Ring Advocates Continue Push For Verrazano Bridge Bike Lane

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The Proposed Harbor Ring Source: SI Live via harborring.org
The Proposed Harbor Ring Source: SI Live via harborring.org

Have you ever rode your bicycle around the neighborhood and wished that someone had designed a route that would let you ride around the city, the boroughs and parts of New Jersey in a single, all-encompassing loop? Well, crazy exercise person, your dreams are one step closer to reality as the Harbor Ring Committee has published the Harbor Ring map, and the only piece of the puzzle still missing in a bike lane connecting Brooklyn and Staten Island.

The map, which you can view and download by clicking here, presents a 50-mile bicycle and pedestrian path that circles around Manhattan, Brooklyn, Staten Island, Bayonne, Jersey City, and Hoboken.

As we previously reported in April, the only missing piece of the map is a path on the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, which would close the loop and provide a direct connection from Staten Island to Brooklyn. With the publication of the map, the Harbor Ring Committee has renewed their effort to get the MTA and other public officials to allow for a bike path on the Verrazano.

Herald Online noted that an additional bike path on the Verrazano has many supporters, including State Senator Diane Savino:

New York State Senator Diane Savino, whose district covers Brooklyn and Staten Island neighborhoods on both sides of the Verrazano Bridge, is a supporter of the Harbor Ring project, specifically the Verrazano pathway. Senator Savino has joined the Committee in asking the MTA to begin the planning for the pathway soon. According to Senator Savino: “Now is the time to incorporate a multi-use path on the Verrazano, so that construction can begin along with planned roadway improvements. Staten Islanders and Brooklynites deserve a toll-free option over the Verrazano Bridge for the good of the local economy, emergency access, and public health.”

Along with Senator Savino, many organizations and public figures have endorsed the Verrazano Bridge pathway, including the Tri-State Transportation Campaign, the East Coast Greenway Alliance, the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, Senator Marty Golden, and Councilmembers Deborah Rose and Vincent Gentile.

While the MTA previously noted that extensive studies monitoring cost, neighborhood impact and overall feasibility need to be conducted before a Verrazano bike path is approved, the push from local politicians and other groups might be enough for bicycle lovers to start getting their hopes high for a fully-connected ring.

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1 COMMENT

  1. The climb up to the Verrazano deck level would be nearly impossible for most bike riders. The ascent would either be too steep, or so long as to make riding a bike across impractical. The Verrazano is nearly 60 feet higher above the water than the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges, neither of which have a major highway on direct approach.

    A bike path would be nice, but impractical. Let’s not add more costs to the Verrazano that would validate higher tolls.

  2. 32,000 cyclists of all abilities participated in the TD Bank Five Boro Bike Tour in May 2013 which crossed the Verrazano Bridge. The 4% grade of the bridge is nearly identical to the grades of the Manhattan and Brooklyn bridges which are used by thousands of cyclists every day.
    The proposed pathways will have no impact on traffic lanes. The cost of constructing and maintaining the pathways is negligible within the operating budget of the MTA, so tolls should not be impacted.

  3. [email protected]

    That and the original design of the Verrazano included a bike path iirc.

  4. Biking on the existing traffic lanes is one thing, but any bike lane added to the Verrazano would not strictly follow the car lanes in terms of slope or access. While there’s less of the following issues on the Staten Island side, the Brooklyn side is problematic for any new bike lane. If it runs on either side of the traffic lanes, as the Manhattan Bridge bike lane does, it would have to avoid the curving entry and exit ramps on the Brooklyn side. If it runs down the middle, as the Brooklyn Bridge bike lane does, it runs into the same problem of having nowhere to go but directly into the center of the highway leading to the Gowanus Expressway.

    When have “negligible” costs ever stopped the MTA from raising tolls on the bridge?

    It’s a lovely idea, but impractical.