When the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge opened almost 50 years ago, about 100,000 vehicles and zero pedestrians made the inaugural crossing. Today the daily number of cars and trucks on the bridge has nearly doubled, even as tolls have risen twentyfold.
Yet the number of people crossing the four-mile bridge on foot has never changed: zero. The same goes for cyclists, who over the past decade have increased their presence on New York City’s bridges. In fact, the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge is among the few major crossings in the metropolitan area without a lane for pedestrians and bicyclists (along with the Bronx-Whitestone and Throgs Neck).
Now, on the occasion of the Verrazano’s semicentennial, a group of cyclists, transportation advocates and residents on both sides of the bridge are leading a grass-roots-and-pavement campaign to add a pedestrian path. Their hope is to reverse a half-century of four-wheeled favoritism and persuade the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to include the path among its planned upgrades on the bridge. Read more here.