Cyclists to city: Don’t let the terrorists win on the Williamsburg Bridge

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Terrorists have won again — and the victims are Williamsburg cyclists, some biking advocates say.

City officials, citing new Department of Homeland Security provisions, will build big cement barriers at the foot of the Williamsburg Bridge to prevent unauthorized vehicles from accessing the bike path.

But cycling advocates say the walls are disruptive and would discourage many riders from using the bridge.

“Adding concrete restricts people’s flow on the Manhattan side,” said Times Up’s Bill DiPaola. “A lot of new cyclists use this bridge and that’s another reason that the bridge should be extra safe.”

Transportation officials defend the design, noting that it has been in place on the busy western side of the Manhattan Bridge with little incident.

“A similar design has proven very effective at separating bikes coming off the bridge from pedestrians on the local sidewalk,” said Department of Transportation spokesman Monty Dean.

But DiPaola says the comparison isn’t valid since the Williamsburg Bridge is more crowded and forces cyclists into eight lanes of traffic in Manhattan.

About 6,262 riders cross the Williamsburg Bridge each day, according to 2010 estimates, making it easily the city’s busiest biking bridge.

But some cyclists say the bridge’s design needs work.

“When I ride there, I have to stop abruptly,” said cyclist Barbara Ross. “And I see a lot of cyclists get off the bridge and go straight into Delancey Street traffic. It’s an extremely dangerous commute.”

DiPaola has put forth his own proposal to make the bridge safer, which includes a new ramp from the bike path descending to a vacant city-owned lot just south of Delancey Street — a long-term project that would require significant capital investment.

A Department of Transportation spokesman said the current cement barrier design would be built in the coming weeks, but added that the agency would look at the new design.

Updated 5:26 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

mike from GP says:
This project is the rare instance of the DOT not consulting with the community first, and look what happens... I agree that there are too many idiotic bicyclists merging into Delancey at high speed, but this is not a solution, and will probably make things worse.

What's really needed is some other (safe!) method of slowing bicyclists down when exiting the bridge, along with protected lanes on Delancey. But the latter probably would required a reduction in car traffic brought on by tolls on the Williamsburg bridge, which we unfortunately don't have (yet!).
Sept. 21, 2011, 5:53 am
Hopper from Bridge says:
Bikers will adapt to the barriers as long as the City picks a plan and LEAVES IT THAT WAY. The layout seems to change from week to week.
Also they may have to remove some precious trees but a dedicated bike/pedestrian lane in the median on Delancey, extending maybe up to Essex, would help ease the hairy bike/traffic clusterf*ck @ Clinton St.
Sept. 21, 2011, 7:21 am
Or from Yellow Hook says:
“When I ride there, I have to stop abruptly,” said cyclist Barbara Ross."

Sept. 21, 2011, 7:52 am
S from PPW says:
I say this as a cyclist: Times Up and Barbara Ross are their own worst enemy.

The issue isn't speed. If you have to go slow enough so that you don't stop abruptly, do it. Don't complain.

The issue is that the barriers are narrow, will cause congestion, and make it hard for people accessing the bridge from Delancey St to get in while avoiding getting smashed by a car.

I wish TU and the most extreme cycling radicals would focus not on convenience, but safety. They make all people who bike look like ignorant whiners.
Sept. 21, 2011, 8:38 am
Or from Yellow Hook says:
Think of it as "traffic calming" for bicycles.

Good for cars - good for bikers!
Sept. 21, 2011, 9:42 am
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
I find this such an irony comming from the bike zealouts. Whenever the DOT does something in their favor, they call it fairness. However, when it's not, they cry foul. If you don't want these barries, then I got an even better idea to help here. It's called following the laws rather than flouting them. Now you know how others feel. Another irony is that they don't mind when vehicular traffic gets slowed down due to truncating for bike lanes, but do mind when it means bike lanes will be smaller. The double standards just keep on comming from them.
Sept. 21, 2011, 6:42 pm
Mike says:
Tal doesn't know what he's talking about. This isn't a calming project. It's a security project to install a secure perimeter around the pedestrian/bike paths on all the bridges, with bollards and concrete walls. It was already done on the Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges. It has nothing whatsoever to do with following or not following laws.

Tal is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts.
Sept. 21, 2011, 9:54 pm
ty from pps says:
So, I'm assuming this means this is the final measure needed to keep terrorists off of the bridge... right?! So, cars, trucks and "unauthorized vehicles" are forbidden from driving on the BRIDGE?! (i.e., the bridge only has bicycles and pedestrians now?)

This is so ridiculous.
Sept. 22, 2011, 5:01 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Mike is entitled to disagree whenever he chooses to, but he is not entitled to making personal attacks. BTW, the security project will not stop vehicular traffic on the bridge. However, cyclists will have to get used to the changes that are being done.
Sept. 22, 2011, 5:39 pm
ty from pps says:
Tal -- I like your fatalist attitude... about OTHER PEOPLE. Cyclists will have to get used to it?! What if we installed the same type of "security project" on the car lanes? Would drivers have to "get used to it"?
Sept. 23, 2011, 8:39 am
ty from pps says:
BTW Tal, when someone says your facts are wrong and not based on reality, that's not a "personal attack" -- that's correcting your error.
Sept. 23, 2011, 8:40 am
Tal from Pleasantville, NJ says:
I find it ironic that people listen to music that they like but don't listen to music that they don''t like.
Sept. 23, 2011, 8:58 am
Other Michael from Park Slope says:

I demand an apology. As a person who does not like to listen to music I do not like, I take that as a personal attack.
Sept. 23, 2011, 12:47 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
First off, cut the impersonations ty, because I find them unprofessional. Whether this is about security measures for terrorism or not, cyclists should responsibly on the bridges. On the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges, there are already cops there enforcing that safety, and maybe there should be on the Williamsburg Bridge as well. Also, cyclists shouldn't even go so fast while on bridges either especially due to the space. Would you run while you are in a crowd? I think not, and that's my point.
Sept. 23, 2011, 8:02 pm
Mike says:
Isn't the better analogy for running in a crowd driving a CAR through a city full of pedestrians and cyclists?! You're like a bull in a china shop when you insist on encasing yourself with two tons of steel. Quit it, and take transit/walk/bike like a normal person.
Sept. 24, 2011, 8:17 am
ty from pps says:
Tal -- You're an idiot. (Yes, that was a personal attack.)
Sept. 24, 2011, 12:55 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Mike, I come from an area where transit isn't an option. I have to literally drive into my own hometown because I live far on the outskirts, which is cheap for my family. To a realtor's perspective, it's more expensive to live where you have easy access to everything compared to living further out. You are lucky you can afford to live near everything, but I am not. I will stop when you and your friends quit ganging up on me just for disagreeing. Perhaps, you should read How the Other Half Lives by Jacob Riis, which I happen to be that other half.
Sept. 24, 2011, 5:24 pm
Other Michael from Park Slope says:

We know you live in a car dependent area. Your understanding of other options is limited by that. Why do you insist on commenting on thing you don't really understand?
Sept. 24, 2011, 5:43 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Other Michael, if I am not worth your time, then why do you and your bike zealout friends give me the time of day? Don't you have better things to do with your lives? I can name what you can do right now. How about go find yourself a girlfriend, a real time job, or just go update your fantasy sports time? Sometimes, you guys really do need to chill. Just because I feel that cyclists should follow the rules doesn't mean that I want them off the road, and I never hear a legitimate reason from you except acting as if it will make you part of the very system you are fighting.
Sept. 25, 2011, 8:13 pm
Other Michael from Park Slope says:

This is not about you. It is about the other readers of these comments. I would not want them to think your opinions are based on reality.

and I think cyclists should follow the rules too.
Sept. 25, 2011, 9:09 pm
Mike says:
Tal, how about YOU move out of your parents' basement, ditch the car, and try living in the city instead of telling us how we should live? You might just like it.
Sept. 25, 2011, 11:28 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Mike, just cut out the personal attacks and focus on the facts and issues. On a side note, I could not have posted that message yesterday at 9:13 because I was driving back home from work across the Williamsburg Bridge at that veru moment. From my consistant arguments here, you all know that I am against special privelages for the minority bike Zealouts from Streetsblog whose only purpose is to stir up trouble and impersonnate my person. I can't drive my car though the side paths of central park--even though I have a mobility problem with my wieght--but it seems as though bikes get a free pass. same thing on the bridges. If bikers want to take space from motorists on bridges biult purposedly for motorists, the should pay up or biuld theyre own bridge. If you look back over the history of my posts you can see that i only state the facts and debunk the false theries of the steetsblog miscreants that spend theyre days and nights following me all over the web. When will people learn to give me the respect that I have earned?

-Tal Barzilai
Sept. 26, 2011, 2:03 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
First off, I wasn't here at 3:03 PM today. Mike, nobody is telling you how to live. Once again, you take my statement out of context and misinterpert it as usual. Repeat after me, "Nobody is telling you where to live or what you can use." What is wrong with just following the rules? What do you cyclists have so much against that? I think you just don't like being part of the system and believe that you are one of those special animals from George Orwell's Animal Farms. I do suggest you read that book and understand what I mean by that.
Sept. 26, 2011, 4:59 pm
Mike says:
The problem with just following the rules is that you get run over by drivers who don't.

And yes, I have read Animal Farm. Unlike you, I even know its actual title.
Sept. 26, 2011, 10:21 pm
Investigate NWO/globalists from Brooklyn Heights says:
Terrorists are everywhere, it's a new fact to life! Bloomberg & Ray Kelly say so!

Do your part--Continue giving up your remaining rights & liberties to gov't & corporations for safety & protection! There is no conspiracy in any of this. Repeat, there is no conspiracy!
Sept. 27, 2011, 10:48 am

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