- Laid Over in Committee
Res. No. 103
Resolution calling upon the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to widen the George Washington Bridge’s sidewalks.
By Council Members Rodriguez, Levine, Powers, Rivera, Rosenthal, Kallos, Vallone, Dromm, Koslowitz, Constantinides, Reynoso, Brannan and Ulrich
Whereas, The George Washington Bridge’s sidewalks are the only connection across the Hudson River between New York City and New Jersey for pedestrians, runners, and bicyclists; and
Whereas, The paths are heavily used, with an average of 1,700 cyclists and 900 pedestrians crossing each day; and
Whereas, The sidewalks are ten feet wide except where the bridge’s suspender ropes pass through, where they are less than seven feet wide; and
Whereas, According to Federal Highway Administration guidelines, shared-use paths should be at least ten feet wide and up to fourteen feet wide if they are heavily used; and
Whereas, The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is planning an extensive renovation that will replace all of the bridge’s suspender ropes beginning in 2017 and lasting until 2024; and
Whereas, As part of the project, the sidewalks will be replaced and new ramps that will provide access to the sidewalks will be constructed, but the sidewalks will not be widened; and
Whereas, New York City has made efforts in recent years to make its roadways safer and more convenient for pedestrians and bicyclists, particularly through the Vision Zero street safety initiative and the expansion of the bicycle lane network; and
Whereas, The Port Authoirty’s own Bicycle Policy states that its goals are to integrate “improved bicycle access” and “safe bicycle lanes,” and to “promote the safe co-existence of motor vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians” at its facilities; and
Whereas, The width of the bridge’s sidewalks do not meet federal standards for high-use pedestrian and bicycle paths, and
Whereas, The planned renovation project presents a unique opportunity to build sidewalks that would be able to safely and comfortably accommodate the increasing number of pedestrians and bicyclists expected to use the bridge in the decades to come; now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That the Council of the City of New York calls upon the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to widen the George Washington Bridge’s sidewalks.
LS# 5327/Res. 1072-2016