Closing Bell: Pedestrian Access for Verrazano Bridge?


A Change.org petition is up to build a pedestrian access route along the Verrazano Bridge, in honor of the Verrazano’s upcoming 50th anniversary in 2014, Brokelyn noted. The petition asks for both foot and bicycle lanes, both of which were deemed doable in a feasibility study conducted back in 1997. The petition also points out that this bridge access would complete a 50-mile walking and cycling route that goes through Brooklyn, Staten Island and New Jersey, known as the Harbor Ring. According to a recent survey, 84 percent of 700 respondents thought that they would use a pedestrian lane over the bridge. And so far more than 500 supporters have signed the petition.
Support Bike and Ped Paths on the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge [Change.org]
Photo by galsafrafoto

25 Comment

  • This sounds like a cool idea, but it really isn’t. Walking or cycling I we the VNB would not be for the faint-hearted–literally; huge uphill next to interstate hwy. as it is the GWB crossing is difficult and that’s tame by comparison.

  • Many years ago the bus I was on got stuck on the bottom level of hte VZ, we had to get off and wait for the next one. Faint of heart, is putting it mildly. Scared Shytt, would describe it better

    While the views are nothing short of spectacular, the swaying of the bridge, let alone the height, isn’t………..

    I will have to check the box no.

    I am also a big time bike rider, but riding over the VZ, I will have to check the box no…………………….

  • This bridge is a behemoth, even for my 3.0 liter car. I can’t imagine even the most in-shape cyclist/walker not being intimidated by it, but hey, for many the eyes are bigger than the stomach….

  • This is one of my favorite NYC bridges. Would love to walk it.

  • Interesting comments. I like the idea, but I would never have considered the vibrations. What about the wind? I would think any pedestrian access would need to be built like a cage, and designed in such a way so that you wouldn’t feel trapped on the bridge. The Brooklyn Bridge does pedestrian/bicycle access well, in my opinion, the Manhattan does not. Any time I’ve been over it, I’ve felt very alone. Maybe it’s better for bikers.

  • I biked the VZ once during one of those annual city bike tours. The hills are not easy but they’re doable. It’s a vehicle bridge, and a huge one. I don’t think anyone would expect a pedestrian route to be serene, but it could certainly be usable. The Queensboro, excuse me, Koch, Bridge bike path gets a ton of use, and it’s inches from heavy truck traffic and shakes like an earthquake.

  • Also rode the bridge in a city bike tour. It’s steep, deceptively so. It’s not for everyone, but I’d welcome pedestrian access.

  • WHY?
    It would cost $40-50 million, and that would all have to be borrowed. Won’t pass the fiduciary’s scrutiny.

  • Having run over it in the marathon – it’s a pretty awesome experience to be on this bridge, the views are just amazing. But I guess it could be a drastically different experience with heavy traffic whizzing by.

  • Would there be like a $25 toll like it is for cars?

    • You joke, but the truth is that biking infrastructure is not free and at the moment, bikers contribute 0% to the cost of that infrastructure. Car owners pay taxes on the purchase of their vehicle, drivers licenses, registration, insurance, gas tax, tolls, and the money from parking and other tickets goes into the city’s general fund. All of those dollars fund road infrastructure in some way. Some of those costs also help fund mass transit which is deeply subsidized by the state. Bikers pay sales tax on the purchase of their bike and that’s it. When we have reduced the number of vehicles in NYC by half, where is the money for O&M on roadways coming from? We could ticket every biker in NYC every day and it won’t come close to making up for the loss in city revenue, not to mention the commiserate decrease in state and federal surface transportation funding.

      Bikers are being conditioned to believe that they are getting a “free” ride. But the days of bike tolls on the Brooklyn Bridge to deal with pedestrian/bike congestion aren’t that far away, especially if congestion pricing happens for cars.

      • “You joke, but the truth is that biking infrastructure is not free and at the moment, bikers contribute 0% to the cost of that infrastructure.”

        not true – drivers do not pay for the entire cost of maintaining roads through registration fees, tolls etc.

        • That isn’t what I said. I said bikers do not contribute anything towards the cost of BIKING infrastructure. Drivers do contribute to the costs of driving infrastructure. You are correct however, in saying that the driver’s contribution is not 100% of the infrastructure costs.

          • well, my rationale is people who don’t drive provide to driving infrastructure – this piecemeal “you didn’t pay for that” really isn’t how taxation and living in a society works.

      • When free street parking is replaced with market rate parking and the federal highway system stops receiving subsidies, then we can start talking about bicycle and pedestrian tolls.

  • I would love to walk over this bridge. I wonder how different it would be (besides the views) from walking over the Golden Gate Bridge.

  • Would be terrific if this proposal gets the green light. Staten Island has many hidden gems, beautiful park right by the foot of the bridge, also Bay Street with mom and pop shops. Many beautiful historic houses in north shore with landmarked districts. It would be great for more people to discover SI.

    Landmark map
    https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?hl=en&ie=UTF8&oe=UTF8&msa=0&msid=205657406380566695638.00048fe847d55154b714c&t=h&ll=40.57373,-74.158248&spn=0.142619,0.190464&source=embed

  • I’ve biked over the VZ many times during the five borough bike tour. It is a very hard bridge to get over. It’s steep and long. Wind is a huge issue on the span, too, whether you are walking or biking. The big question is how many people would use it and why? Probably not worth the investment. Foot and bike paths on the Brooklyn, Manhattan, Williamsburg and Queensboro bridges are used by thousands of commuters every rush hour. In these cases the investments made sense. I don’t think the VZ would see the same level of use.