Monday, November 19, 2007

Manhattan Bridge Update



This is the entrance to the Manhattan Bridge Bike Path from the Brooklyn Side. Once you find this and cross it, it's a breeze. There's a fancy new on-ramp, and the North side is (technically) only for cyclists.
Of course, this street is the entrance to the BQE in one direction, the Brooklyn Bridge, in the other, and, if you'll notice, cyclists are asked to ride in the cross walks because they couldn't engineer a safe route onto and off the bridge that allowed us to ride as vehicles.
This means that you have to merge into traffic from the sidewalk.
The Manhattan side is much worse.
I've been riding the newly re-opened North side for a month now and I still can't figure out how to safely and legally get on and off the bike path.
It's great that the path is open, but this trend of patchwork bike paths and lanes with no thought to how cyclists access the routes is going to get more and more people hurt and killed rather than making it safer to ride.
If we are in traffic, then we are traffic.
Making cyclists unpredictably ride to the left, to the right, on sidewalks, and then merge with traffic is a tragedy that isn't waiting to happen. It happens every day.

I was posting only yesterday about my ride across the Manhattan Bridge.
My use of the word 'suicidal' was meant to be ironic, but in light of what happened to Sam Hindy, it's not a joke.
Sam encountered a different issue from the one I'm describing, but I think they are all connected.
Traffic patterns that make no sense lead to accidents.

(Quoted from the NY Post)

A DAD GRIEVES: Devastated father Stephen Hindy (left) says son Sam was an avid cyclist. The 27-year-old was killed when he fell from the upper deck of the Manhattan Bridge yesterday.

November 18, 2007 -- A man whose father co-founded the Brooklyn Brewery was tragically killed in a freak bike accident on the Manhattan Bridge when he fell more than 20 feet from the upper roadway onto the lower section of the span, police said yesterday.
Sam Khaled Hindy, 27, and a friend were headed to Brooklyn when they accidentally rode their bikes onto the upper part of the bridge reserved for automobile traffic at 11:50 p.m. Friday.
When they realized they were in the wrong lanes, they turned to go back to the entrance of the lower roadway on the Manhattan side, where bicycle and pedestrian paths are located.
But as they made their way back, Hindy struck a barrier, sending him flying down onto the lower roadway through a split in the bridge, landing next to a car, police said.
"A bicycle hit the right side of my car. I didn't see the guy. I thought it was garbage bags. He didn't hit my car, he hit the street," said Joachim Romage, 62, who was driving his 1995 Toyota Avalon across the bridge at the time.
"I was so shocked. How can someone riding on the upper level flip over?"
Hindy was rushed to New York Downtown Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 12:30 a.m. yesterday.
Noah Budnick, of the cycling advocacy group Transportation Alternatives, said the entrance to the bridge's bicycle path has long been a problem because it is not clearly marked.
"The traffic is so thick around the bridge and the street grids are so confused that without a map or experience, it's understandable how someone could be misled and end up on the roadway," he said.
Stephen Hindy said his son - who had recently moved back to New York from Boston and worked as a computer engineer for the Internet advertising company DoubleClick - was an avid bike rider who frequently rode between Brooklyn and Manhattan, although he usually went across the Brooklyn Bridge.
to read the complete article go to the NY Post
Or see related articles: Bicyclist Killed in Fall on Bridge
Son of Brooklyn Brewery owner dies in accident

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