There’s Still Time to Ask the Port Authority For Wider GWB Paths
On Thursday, the Port Authority board will vote on the agency’s $32 billion, 10-year capital plan — which currently does not include widening the walking and biking paths on the George Washington Bridge.
The agency will begin construction this year on a $1.03 billion renovation of the bridge’s suspension cables. The GWB walking and biking paths are already too narrow for the number of people they carry, but the rehab project, announced in March 2014, doesn’t call for widening them.
The paths are eight feet wide and just 6.75 feet at pinch points, falling far short of engineering standards for two-way bike paths. That’s already a problem on busy weekends, when thousands of cyclists use the bridge on an average day. And with cycling numbers increasing at 10.4 percent annually, according to Neile Weissman, who’s been on a mission to seize what he views as a once-in-a-generation opportunity, the space crunch will only get worse.
Weissman is proposing to separate bike and pedestrian traffic with new 10-foot-wide bike paths below the grade of pedestrian paths, which he says the Port Authority has estimated will cost $90 million.
There’s still time to convince board members and, more importantly, New Jersey and New York’s governors, to widen the paths. You can contact the Port, Christie, and Cuomo via Weissman’s “Complete George” website.
Since Streetsblog last covered the issue, Weissman’s campaign has won the support of Manhattan Community Board 7 (the eighth CB endorsement), and Council Member Dan Garodnick (the 12th to sign on). That’s on top of 11 members of Congress, and about 150 businesses, organizations, and community leaders.