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Living Car Free Do you live car free or car light? Do you prefer to use alternative transportation (bicycles, walking, other human-powered or public transportation) for everyday activities whenever possible? Discuss your lifestyle here.

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Old 01-12-14, 06:15 PM   #26
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Can you develop this thought a bit?
They took down two of the TALLEST skyscrapers in the world, and then somehow managed to unintentionally take out a third very large building, all this right smack dab in the middle of the one of the worlds financial centers. They did a lot more than slow down traffic! While the bridge is a primary conduit, I doubt it would have taken very long to find some reasonable alternatives. It's only money.
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Old 01-12-14, 06:39 PM   #27
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... While the bridge is a primary conduit, I doubt it would have taken very long to find some reasonable alternatives. It's only money.
You obviously have no idea of the logistics involved. The Hudson River is almost a mile wide and a tidal estuary. The other cossings are already at capacity, and the GWB is the largest one. Loss of the bridge, would reduce cross river capacity by about 30% or more.

It's not only NYC commuter traffic, the bridge is the primary link for eastern corridor traffic, with very limited alternatives. Yes, like anything, we can adapt to it's closure, but it won't be easy, and bringing on a replacement is a matter of years, not months even with a full court press.
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Old 01-12-14, 06:55 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by Bandrada View Post
They took down two of the TALLEST skyscrapers in the world, and then somehow managed to unintentionally take out a third very large building, all this right smack dab in the middle of the one of the worlds financial centers. They did a lot more than slow down traffic! While the bridge is a primary conduit, I doubt it would have taken very long to find some reasonable alternatives. It's only money.
I did point out that the symbolic value of the WTC was enormous. That's what made it a target, if I understand it correctly. Although I guess destruction of the railroad facilities under the towers did snarl things up pretty badly.

The real point was the incredibly vulnerability of the big city's transportation system.
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Old 01-12-14, 06:56 PM   #29
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You obviously have no idea of the logistics involved. The Hudson River is almost a mile wide and a tidal estuary. The other cossings are already at capacity, and the GWB is the largest one. Loss of the bridge, would reduce cross river capacity by about 30% or more.

It's not only NYC commuter traffic, the bridge is the primary link for eastern corridor traffic, with very limited alternatives. Yes, like anything, we can adapt to it's closure, but it won't be easy, and bringing on a replacement is a matter of years, not months even with a full court press.
Lets just hope I'm never proven wrong.

On a different note, have you visited the new memorial? Is it finished, yet? I bet it's beautiful!
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Old 01-12-14, 08:35 PM   #30
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I've ridden over the George Washington Bridge bike path many times and it's has the most beautiful sights in all of New York City. What amazes me is that it's fairly flat most of the way. However, I think they close the bridge at midnight for safty reasons.

It cost $13.00 dollars to get into Manhattan, free if you're going to New Jersey.

I don't know why people are getting so upset about this bridge because it's always jammed during rush hour especially if there's an accident. During summer months, it's bumper to bumper traffic all the way to the city. Motorist should expect raffic jams and it's no faster than the Lincoln tunnel.

I take the bridge everyday and during the summer there's much less traffic. There are no teachers driving in to work. I would cycle in but like a lot of urban areas misplaced highways cut off safe access to destinations. On the NY side there's a great bike path you can take all the way downtown. Unfortunately, the worse part of it is right off the bridge itself.
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Old 01-12-14, 10:22 PM   #31
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If a slight disruption can cause big problems, then the system is indeed vulnerable, practically by definition. If such disruptions are regular occurrences, then the system is inefficient. I think the auto-centric approach has been shown to be both of those in many locales, including the greater NYC area.
You're right, of course. I was being sarcastic.
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Old 01-14-14, 02:46 PM   #32
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This is an issue where some advocacy is needed. I don't know the cyclist traffic counts, especially a rush hour, but some alternatives should be considered. Possibly shuttle buses for cyclists and pedestrians, or closure and Jersey barriering of the right lane of the upper deck with access cut through to the pedestrian/bicycle ramps at each end. The lose of a single lane on the span isn't a crisis since the bridge already has more capacity the roads at either end.

Fot those not in the NYC area, probably the only reason that the bridge's bicycle commuter counts aren't much higher is the location. The GWB connects to Manhattan's Washington Heights, some 8 miles north of midtown. If there were similar access through the Lincoln Tunnel the counts would be through the roof.
There's just no way that's going to happen and, even as a cyclist, I'm not so sure it should happen. I'm all for people cycling across the GWB and do it regularly myself, but I don't think funds should be dedicated to vehicles to get cyclists over the bridge during the disruption. There's just simply no point in it. I do think there should be minimal disruption to the path, if possible, but you do what you can. Yes, there are those who commute by bike into the city 12 months a year, but the counts are pretty small.

One of the reasons we face so much of this in NYC is, unlike what you're seeing with the new Tappan Zee, NYC's bridges have to basically be rebuilt in place because of limited space, particularly because of the lack of land availability and end points. Given that, these occasional situations crop up.
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Old 01-14-14, 02:53 PM   #33
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Yeah, you're right - the existence of bottlenecks and the fact that slight disruptions can cause big problems doesn't show that the system is inefficient and vulnerable.
No more so than any other unless we all start using personal jetpacks.
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Old 01-14-14, 02:54 PM   #34
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There's just no way that's going to happen and, even as a cyclist, I'm not so sure it should happen. I'm all for people cycling across the GWB and do it regularly myself, but I don't think funds should be dedicated to vehicles to get cyclists over the bridge during the disruption. There's just simply no point in it. I do think there should be minimal disruption to the path, if possible, but you do what you can. Yes, there are those who commute by bike into the city 12 months a year, but the counts are pretty small.

One of the reasons we face so much of this in NYC is, unlike what you're seeing with the new Tappan Zee, NYC's bridges have to basically be rebuilt in place because of limited space, particularly because of the lack of land availability and end points. Given that, these occasional situations crop up.
If you don't provide an alternative like a shuttle bus, what will bike commuters do? Quit their jobs or drop out of school until the construction is completed? Buy cars and make the congestion even worse? If you don't provide for the bike commuters, everybody sees that bike commuting is unreliable and they give up on it.
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Old 01-14-14, 03:18 PM   #35
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There's just no way that's going to happen and, even as a cyclist, I'm not so sure it should happen. .
There's a long tradition of preserving access when vital links are disrupted. The GWB is the only game in town for bicycle and pedestrians, so those cut off during construction will have no alternatives.

Great amounts don't have to be expended to keep this link available. Simply allowing bicycles on the buses that regularly cross from Ft. Lee to the Port Authority terminal will do the trick.
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Old 01-14-14, 10:34 PM   #36
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If you don't provide an alternative like a shuttle bus, what will bike commuters do?.
Bicycle to a bus stop or a PATH station on the NJ side, lock bike securely as possible and take the bus/PATH train; take the subway on the NYC side.
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Old 01-15-14, 08:26 AM   #37
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There's a long tradition of preserving access when vital links are disrupted. The GWB is the only game in town for bicycle and pedestrians, so those cut off during construction will have no alternatives.

Great amounts don't have to be expended to keep this link available. Simply allowing bicycles on the buses that regularly cross from Ft. Lee to the Port Authority terminal will do the trick.
I hear you, but it's not going to happen. Why? None of the NJT buses that cross into the city have bike racks at the moment and, even if you could get the policy enacted, sourcing them and getting them on would take time. Secondly, NJT bus commuters wouldn't be that keen about having to stop and have bikes loaded. If anything was done via bus, it would make more sense for the licensed commuter vans to do it. As private businesses, if they want that business, they could easily go for it.

As far as pedestrians, they can take existing modes of transportation, including local buses.
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Old 01-15-14, 08:28 AM   #38
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If you don't provide an alternative like a shuttle bus, what will bike commuters do? Quit their jobs or drop out of school until the construction is completed? Buy cars and make the congestion even worse? If you don't provide for the bike commuters, everybody sees that bike commuting is unreliable and they give up on it.
See, this is the kind of drama that makes it hard for two sides to come together. Nobody will have to quit their jobs or drop out of school because, quite simply, no one has to be a bike commuter. There are existing modes of transportation that can easily accommodate bike commuters during closures.

When Hoboken Terminal was out following Hurricane Sandy, those of us who used it to connect to the PATH didn't sit around and whine "how will we get to work?" We bucked up, took private buses and endured the longer commutes like everyone else. If you're going to live in the NYC metro area, you have to get accustomed to the fact that sometimes life will be a PITA in some respects.
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Old 01-20-14, 08:49 PM   #39
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I did point out that the symbolic value of the WTC was enormous. That's what made it a target, if I understand it correctly. Although I guess destruction of the railroad facilities under the towers did snarl things up pretty badly.
Let me tell you what happened.

The Path Trains under the WTC were out of service for more than a year (I think) and trains leaving Journal Square were PACKED like never before. Quite frankly, commuting this way was horrible and reminded me of conditions in Inda they were that full. I could not stomach getting on those trains each day.

Not many people remember the Holland Tunnel was also closed for months so all traffic was directed to the Lincoln Tunnel making a real long commute for those using buses. Did I also tell you the police were stoping every truck and van at the tunnel? Back then a 3 - 4 hour a day commute into the city was quite common! Needless to say, this was not a good commute either so I had to find another solution.

The best commute at the time was taking the ferry (New York Waterway) into Manhattan. I would bike to the ferry and in 15 minutes, would enter in lower Manhattan with no delay. I would then bicycle to my job in Midtown basically arriving at the same time I do today! It was great and I had a lot fun being a bike/ferry commuter.

I had to stop because once the tunnel opened and the trains operated at 100% service, the price of the ferry nearly doubled and service was cut in half!
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Old 01-21-14, 01:27 AM   #40
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Let me tell you what happened.

The Path Trains under the WTC were out of service for more than a year (I think) and trains leaving Journal Square were PACKED like never before. Quite frankly, commuting this way was horrible and reminded me of conditions in Inda they were that full. I could not stomach getting on those trains each day.

Not many people remember the Holland Tunnel was also closed for months so all traffic was directed to the Lincoln Tunnel making a real long commute for those using buses. Did I also tell you the police were stoping every truck and van at the tunnel? Back then a 3 - 4 hour a day commute into the city was quite common! Needless to say, this was not a good commute either so I had to find another solution.

The best commute at the time was taking the ferry (New York Waterway) into Manhattan. I would bike to the ferry and in 15 minutes, would enter in lower Manhattan with no delay. I would then bicycle to my job in Midtown basically arriving at the same time I do today! It was great and I had a lot fun being a bike/ferry commuter.

I had to stop because once the tunnel opened and the trains operated at 100% service, the price of the ferry nearly doubled and service was cut in half!
I had friends who were stuck in New York after 9/11. There were no flights. I can't remember if buses and trains were also cancelled, or if they just couldn't get tickets because they were overcrowded. Long story short, they were finally able to rent a U-haul truck and drive it back to Michigan, three or four days after the attack, IIRC.

Anyhow, a ferry-bike commute sounds like a lot of fun. Too bad it can't be done any longer.
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