Friday, September 10, 2010

Staten Island Bridge Access

I am thinking of doing a cross-country bike trip and naturally, it is best to start small.  One of these "short rides" I was thinking of is a ride from NYC to Philadelphia.  I am a history buff and I would enjoy it.  However, I have come across the problem that the most logical route is closed to me.  The shortest path would've been through Staten Island, but as usual that borough is poorly served.  As the Staten Islanders I know often complain, these islanders have to pay to get in and out of their island.  They are surrounded by bridges and tolls.  Only one of these bridges is bicycle accessible and it goes to the least favorable location: Bayonne, NJ.  There's nothing wrong with Bayonne, but it is an industrial center and unless you're working there or happen to live there, you probably don't want to go there.  The Bayonne option is unacceptable because it adds so many needless miles.  The Newark Bay and restricted access to the nearest bridges there require a cyclist to go North--nearly back to the George Washington Bridge--before they could they could again proceed South.  The Outer Crossing would've been better, but bikes on that bridge are not even a thought.  The Goethals was a possibility, but it has yet to be re-opened to bicycles after many long years.  I think this is unacceptable.  Staten Island is already known to be poorly served by buses and while S.I. is probably more motor-centric than the other boroughs, the cost of gasoline and providing every individual with an automobile all the time seems problematic.  Thus, the lack of bicycle access to the bridges is a problem and compared to access in the other boroughs, it's a shock!  The only decent bridge bike access--to the Goethals Bridge--needs to be restored ASAP! 


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