DOT’s proposal ignores the community’s wishes
The New York State Department of Transportation recently released its final plan to change the Scajaquada Expressway. As a cyclist, I believe the DOT has created a more dangerous cycling area with the addition of the 5-foot shoulder. Road shoulders commonly become filled with debris, forcing the cyclist to ride in the travel lane, ride through the debris or not use the route at all. The dangers of drifting into the shoulders by motorists, especially distracted ones, is a second danger. The third issue is the expanded road width. It is proven that a wider road leads to higher rates of speed, which causes deadlier crashes.
The addition of wider shoulders and the median in the designs continues to propagate the highway-in-a-city mentality. Time and time again, the community has stated it wants a city street, not a highway. The proposal by the Olmsted Parks Conservancy is a lot closer to achieving this vision than any proposal by the DOT. This isn’t a surprise, as the DOT continues its car-centric approach with the only concern of moving vehicles from point A to point B. We must take this opportunity to build a street that is safe and accessible for all transit users.