RBC Asks Governor, NYS Thruway Exec Director To Keep Mario Cuomo Bridge Shared Use Path Open 24/7

By Rockland Bicycling Club on 2/20/19 updated 2/22/19

The Rockland Bicycling Club wrote to NYS Governor Andrew Cuomo on 1/30/2019 to go on record asking that the Shared Use Path (SUP) on the new Mario Cuomo Bridge be open 24/7. Because:

 

  1. it's primarily a transportation corridor (which also has recreational purposes) -- the NYS Thruway builds transportation systems. If you don't close the roadway after the sun goes down, why would you close the bike path?

  2. There are no limits on other NY area bridges with bicycle paths (the GWB is 6a-12m, but it was 24/7 before 9/11).

  3. It's green healthy transportation. Why discourage people from getting exercise and spewing fewer greenhouse gases by limiting it's usefulness? 

For more background on this issue, visit Mario Cuomo Bridge Shared Use Path Fact Sheet.


January 30, 2019

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo
NYS Thruway Acting Executive Director Matthew Driscoll


Dear Governor Cuomo and Executive Director Driscoll:
 
The Shared Use Path on the Mario Cuomo Bridge will create new, healthy active transportation options in the Lower Hudson Valley. Thank you for creating this bicycle commuting opportunity.


We are writing to express concern about statements made by elected officials to limit the hours of the SUP that will also limit its usefulness as a transportation alternative. 


Please consider the needs of all current and future users of the Mario Cuomo Bridge Shared Use Path and keep this transportation corridor open 24/7.

The Lower Hudson region is part of the NYC Metro area where the Brooklyn, Manhattan, Williamsburg, Koch, and RFK bridges are all open 24/7. The George Washington Bridge bike path is the only comparable bridge that limits its hours (12m-6a), but it was open 24/7 prior to security concerns following 9/11. Shouldn't the MCB SUP operating hours parallel what the majority of regional crossings already offer?
 
Last fall, the new Hudson Link bus service was opened to serve Rockland-Westchester and NYC bound commuters, operating from 5a-1230a. If the SUP is to serve as viable "transportation alternative" for commuters, shouldn't it be open the same hours -- and perhaps longer -- to serve off-shift workers who don't have cars and can't take mass transit after it stops running?
 
Executive Director Driscoll, thank you for including the Rockland Bicycling Club as one of the stakeholders you have consulted in the past regarding Mario Cuomo Bridge decisions regarding bicycling. We appreciate the opportunity to weigh in on this important policy decision that can have a positive impact on active transportation and recreational uses of the new bridge with positive environmental impacts.