A Queens-Manhattan bike bridge gathered steam last week when former traffic commissioner Sam Schwartz pitched it. But media reports left something out. The Queens Ribbon, if built, makes a mess on Roosevelt Island.
By David Stone
Not Schwartz nor any of the media flacks took a serious look at how the combination bicycle pedestrian bridge slams an ugly foot print in Southpoint Park. Or FDR Four Freedoms, according to one description.
First reported in The Gothamist, the Queens Ribbon “would stretch from Long Island City, stop on Roosevelt Island that would be accessible by elevator.”
The Queens-Manhattan Bike Bridge… with a “stop on Roosevelt Island.”
Let’s take a look at the “stop” on Roosevelt Island.
Renderings by T. Y. Lin (international) play it down, but the foot print on Roosevelt Island would be massive and another blow to our parks.
The 20 foot wide deck would be suspended on cables.
“The cables would be supported by three delta-shaped towers located near the Long Island City shore, at Roosevelt Island, and near the Manhattan shore. Each tower would be around 300 feet tall and 200 feet wide,” according to the Sunnyside Post.
But what’s missing…?
First thing missing from the Queens-Manhattan bike bridge is not immediately obvious… But it’s that nobody bothered talking to anyone on Roosevelt Island.
If you’re going to run a 30 story high structure with a giant paw print in one of the local parks, wouldn’t that be a good idea?
But that’s a quibble next to the other bad news.
Devastation across the width of Southpoint Park, already embroiled in controversy, would alter the space permanently.
Although the rendering avoids reality by simply flattening the park, the bridge would thump a giant paw in the middle and scrape over or just north of the rolling hill that centers it.
But the real deception masked in visualizations of the Queens-Manhattan bike bridge is the worst of it.
The “stop on Roosevelt Island that would be accessible by elevator,” blithely reports The Gothamist.
But you’re not going to find that ugly elevator building, shaft or bridge landing anywhere in any of the drawings.
Conclusion: The Queens-Manhattan Bike Bridge Is Really Bad for Roosevelt Island
So, what we have here is a team of New York City elites, academics and city officials, proposing a devastating intrusion on a treasured park without bothering to touch base with the community.
Don’t we already get enough of that from RIOC and Governor Cuomo?