May 9, 2011

A Toll-Free Trek Across the Verrazano? Help Us Make It A Reality

As the starting point to the New York Marathon and the keystone to the Five Borough Bike Tour, thousands of fortunate New Yorkers and Americans are treated to a sprint or a cycle across the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge twice a year.  The only physical connection Staten Island has to the rest of New York City, the VNB has the longest bridge span in America and offers a stunning view of Manhattan's skyline.  However, access is granted to cars only--no walkers, no bicyclists--and with a $13 toll attached to westbound vehicles heading into Staten Island. 

Transportation Alternatives' Staten Island and Brooklyn Volunteer Committees are teaming up to fight for bicycle and pedestrian access to the Verrazano Bridge, a natural counterpart to the Brooklyn Bridge and the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco in terms of recreational and commuter value, aesthetic appeal, and congestion relief.  Two  different methods are both feasible and inexpensive--installing bike racks on the S79 and S53 buses which cross the bridge, and using the existing infrastructure to complete a bicycle-pedestrian multi-use path.

We need your help to make this a reality!  To accurately assess the demand for bike-ped access on this bridge, we ask that you take our quick survey and let us know what you think.  Wouldn't you love to be able to walk across the Verrazano Bridge on a summer day--not just once, but always?

Meredith Sladek
Transportation Alternatives Staten Island Volunteer Committee

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