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Monday, March 24, 2014

Roosevelt Island Resident Asks For Safer Bike Lanes On Roosevelt Island Bridge - NYC Department Of Transportation Announces Intermittent 15 Minute Daytime Closing Of Roosevelt Island Bridge Tomorrow

According to the NYC Department Of Transportation (DOT):

Please see the attached Important Notice announcing full closures of the Roosevelt Island Bridge for operational testing. On Tuesday, March 25, 2014, between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m., the bridge may be completely closed for up to 15 minutes at a time. Sufficient time will be allowed between closures to clear any traffic queues.

Safety for bicyclists on the Roosevelt Island Bridge was the subject of this message sent yesterday to Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) President Charlene Indelicato by resident Janet Falk:
I ride my bike over the Roosevelt Island bridge and notice the accumulation of gravel in the bike lanes.

I have posted this complaint to RI 311 periodically for more than one year and have noticed little change. If anything, the problem is worse, perhaps because of the recent repair of the potholes in the westbound lane (for which I am appreciative).

On Thursday, March 20, because the eastbound bike lane was so full of gravel it was dangerous to ride there, I rode my bicycle in the automobile lane, which also is dangerous because cars do not expect to see a bicyclist there.

How often does RIOC conduct a scheduled cleaning and sweeping of the gravel from that area?

The notices on RI 311 are either ignored or responded to as noted and closed, yet the problem persists.

Please direct this matter to the appropriate member of the RIOC staff and let me know who that person is, so that I can contact them directly in the future.
Ms Indelicato replied that the Roosevelt Island Bridge is under the jurisdiction of the NYC DOT and that she will contact the appropriate person about the issue.

 Image of Roosevelt Island Bridge Metal Grill Bike Path and Roadway

Safety for bicyclists on the Roosevelt Island Bridge has been an ongoing issue. As reported back in August 2011:
... I'm a Roosevelt Island resident. I'm also an avid bicyclist -- and I have a suggestion. It's great that a lane is set aside for cyclists crossing the bridge into Queens. But it would be helpful if the bridge's metal grill were covered by some sort of mat. You may not be aware of this, but -- when it rains -- metal-grill bridges are like sheets of ice if you're a cyclist, especially if you're on a road bike with thin tires. I was reminded of this on Sunday: My son and I were crossing the bridge on our bicycles early on Sunday morning, after the rain had stopped, and as soon as we hit the metal grill, we both started sliding. We immediately got off our bikes and walked them across....
and the twitterverse cautions:
In 2011 a Roosevelt Island resident received this response from a DOT spokesperson regarding bike safety on the Roosevelt Island Bridge:
Thank you for your email regarding the improvement of bike mobility and safety on the Roosevelt Island Bridge. We have forwarded your message to the appropriate unit in DOT Bridges for review. We will provide you with their determination...
We're still waiting.