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Manhattan Bridge bike path — side switch

July 18, 2011

The Manhattan Bridge bike path was switched from the north side of the bridge to the south side of the bridge today, apparently for construction. At first I was a little bit irritated — no advance notice, pedestrian+bike crowding, etc — but once I got over that I was incredibly moved: the path already had bike signs, warning both bikers and pedestrians to be cautious. When I got off, the a freshly painted bike lane escorted you from this side of the bridge to pre-existing bike lanes. To be clear, the switch happened TODAY — I rode on Manhattan Bridge yesterday on the old side — so all of these things (the closing of one side, the opening of the other side, bike signage, bike lane) happened in concert. Now that’s design. Nothing fancy–actually incredibly simple and straightforward. Basic almost. But the point is, the switch happened with thought for the pedestrians and bikers — both on and before and after the bridge. It can be so simple really.

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