Stop the Broadway Bridge Detour

Kid cycling on the sidewalk of Route 9 over the Thruway.

May 24, 2024

The Location

In Tarrytown, on Broadway, where it crosses over I-287, the western sidewalk is used by people walking and cycling to and from the JCC, the Van Wart neighborhood, the Old Croton Aqueduct, the Tappan Zee Bridge, and the Bridge Plaza Shopping Center. (See photo, top right.)

The Problem

Person walking in traffic on Broadway because the sidewalk is closed for construction.

On May 29th, the Thruway Authority plans to close this crucial link for 6 weeks so they can use the space for a construction project. The plan is to make people walk 8 minutes out of their way (or longer if you're a slow walker) through two deadly / dangerous crosswalks. This absurdly long detour will lead some people to choose to walk in the roadway, just like some people did during an earlier phase of this project. (See photo, 2nd down right.)

The Solution

The bridge is wide enough to provide a temporary, barrier protected western walkway for the duration of the construction project. (Click on diagram, below, left.)

Cross section diagram of our proposal for Route 9 over the Thruway.

Take Action

State agencies depend on Village governments to convey local priorities. Therefore, the Village of Tarrytown needs to tell the Thruway Authority to do the right thing. And the Village needs to act fast, but they're dragging their feet.

Tell Tarrytown's officials this is a priority for you by sending this email.

What We've Done So Far

Bike Tarrytown's Director has thus far spent three days communicating with the Transportation point person in the Governor's office, staff in both of our State Legislators' offices, and key Tarrytown officials (including the email, below). Plus composing this document, of course.

(We've been working non-stop on this and several other time sensitive issues. If you have a few bucks to spare, please donate some.)

Our Letter to Tarrytown

Date: Thu, 23 May 2024 12:41:50 -0400
From: "Daniel Convissor (bike)" <>
To: Karen Brown <>,
	David Kim <>,
	Effie Phillips-Staley <>,
	Paul Rinaldi <>,
	Rebecca McGovern <>,
	Robert Hoyt <>,
	Thomas Mitchell <>
Cc: Richard Slingerland <>,
	Alissa Fasman <>,
	John Barbelet <>
Subject: thruway walking detour must be reworked

Dear Mayor and Trustees:

I am writing on behalf of Bike Tarrytown's 600 supporters. Please pardon the length of this email, but all of these details are necessary to cut through the Thruway's bureaucratic malaise.

The Thruway is planning to close Broadway's western sidewalk over the Thruway for SIX WEEKS during installation of the new bike/ped bridge. *

This would turn a safe 1 minute walk into a 9 minute walk that includes two VERY dangerous crosswalks. And that timing assumes a healthy person. Older people, etc, will experience much longer delays and face even greater peril in the two dangerous crosswalks.

The bridge's western sidewalk is a crucial link for Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow residents walking and cycling to the JCC and the Old Croton Aqueduct. It is also a key route for Van Wart residents heading to the Bridge Plaza shopping center and other destinations in town.

The Authority has mentioned they looked at a transient provision, having people walk through the construction zone after hours, but found it to be problematic. We agree, that option is non-feasible.

What is needed is a provision in place for the entire construction period. A jersey barrier protected walking facility. There is more than enough room for it. [Click on diagram, above, left.] Measures like this are implemented the world over by governments that actually value the time and safety of people walking. We must do the same.

If the Thruway does not take this measure, some people _will_ walk in the motor vehicle lanes rather than take the extensive, dangerous detour. Just like people did during the east side sidewalk reconstruction during an earlier phase of this project. [See photo, above, on right, 2nd from top.]

And if someone walking that way gets injured/killed, the Thruway will shift the blame onto the victim for "misbehaving." That reminds us: "the chief consequence of blame is the prevention of prevention," as the author of "There Are No Accidents" properly puts it.

Due to the extreme distance and duration of the detour, the MUTCD** says the prevention measures we demand, above, are required. "Adequate pedestrian access and walkways _shall_ be provided." Detours like the one the Thruway is proposing are unacceptable because "pedestrians are reluctant to retrace their steps to a prior intersection for a crossing or to add distance or out-of-the-way travel to a destination." Finally, it says "Pedestrians should be provided with a convenient and accessible path that replicates as nearly as practical the most desirable characteristics of the existing sidewalk(s) or footpath(s)." (MUTCD, 11th Edition, Section 6C.02, Paragraphs 3, 6, and 7C)

Please firmly push the Thruway Authority at the ED/Chair level. Due to the tight time frame, I encourage the Mayor and Trustees write a joint letter to them.

Please fix this.




** You know, the bible that traffic engineers recite from when they don't want to do things. | | T: @BikeTarrytown | F: @BikeTarrytn