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Friday, November 6, 2020

Bad Markings

This shared-use path becomes precariously narrow on the bridge over the Bronx River. It is barely wide enough to comfortably ride; forget trying to pass anybody else. The thing is, there is some residual roadway space that could be repurposed to fix this problem.

The path drops from a full 14-feet-wide shared-use path
right at the bridge
Over the bridge, the path is only about three-feet wide

A sign that is barely visible warns about the obvious:

The New York City Department of Transportation prepared plans to upgrade the corridor last year, but it didn't extend quite far enough to address this problem spot.

This is unfortunate, and it looks like it turned out to be a real missed opportunity. A solution is sitting right there in the unused space that is hatched off as a shoulder lane over the bridge. Repurposing that leftover roadway space to split cyclists off onto a two-way cycle track would make a relatively quick and low-cost improvement. 

The hatched area is just sitting there waiting to provide
much-needed space for cyclists

This would require a pair of curb ramps, a few markings, and a section of Qwick Kurb to provide adequate separation from traffic while allowing emergency vehicles to use the lane to bypass traffic if necessary. Some attention to the design of the end segments may be necessary to allow for snow-clearing without leaving the lane exposed for drivers to cut through.

It is unfortunate that this location was not include in the plan that was released last year, because DOT sent its marking crew out this year and refreshed all the existing markings. The money that was spent to maintain the bad status quo could have gone a long way toward solving the problem.

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