NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Some lawmakers and residents in Queens want to make the Queensboro Bridge more bike and pedestrian friendly.
Many told CBS2’s Marc Liverman the current designated area is too narrow and dangerous. One cyclist said the tight space almost cost him his life.
“I could have lost fingers or limbs or cracked my skull open,” Josh Arfield told Liverman.
Arfield said about three weeks ago, he was biking across the bridge into Manhattan. There was another cyclist in the other lane, plus a pedestrian somewhere in the middle.
“She took a step to the left and raised her arm, and I swerved to miss her and I clipped her, and that caused me to crash, and I land on the pavement,” he said.
He hit the concrete so hard, he broke bones and ended up in a brace.
“Pins and needles and wires holding my elbow together,” he said.
Web Extra: Bicyclists And Pedestrians Call For Separate Lanes On Queensboro Bridge
Arfield joined other cyclists, pedestrians and Deputy Leader of the City Council Jimmy Van Bramer to push for change Tuesday.
“You cannot have thousands of people competing for a very narrow piece of land or bridge and making them dodge each other,” said Van Bramer.
The group hopes the Department of Transportation will create separate, exclusive lanes for cyclists and pedestrians. The southern outer roadway would be closed to cars and designated for pedestrians only.
“I am calling and fully supporting the Department of Transportation to right now – not in two or three years, right now – say that they agree with us and they are going to implement this plan,” Van Bramer continued.
So far, the DOT hasn’t ruled out the idea.
“Look at what we’re going through now. So if there making more rows for pedestrians, we’re just going to go through more,” Ruth Cintros, of Cypress Hills, said. “Worse, the traffic is going to be worse. Road rage, people are going to be arguing, fighting.”
Proponents for the changes say the new pedestrian-only lane would also help the environment.