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Last updated:
Feb. 15, 2005.

The Bridges of New York City

'People Crossing Daily' - a diagram provided by the NYC DOT back in 1988, shows decisively how motorists gradually stole the bridges.
This diagram of cross-sections --admittedly hard to see -- of the East River bridges - 'People Crossing Daily' - is copied from a rare, out-of-print book, Spanning the 21st Century: Reconstructing a World Class Bridge Program, published by the NYC Dept. of Transportation, back in 1988. The number at the center of each box shows the number of people crossing daily at the year shown in parentheses. The Full Transportation Opening shows when the bridge was first fully opened, the Peak Year shows the bridge at peak number of people crossing, and the Present shows daily people crossings in 1988.

Over the years, bridge lanes devoted to high-capacity trolley and subway lines were gradually converted to auto lanes by motoring interests who gained control of City Hall. The auto lanes have much lower passenger-carrying capacity. Now, with bridge tolls being discussed, some motorists and the usual more backward politicians reject the claim that drivers should contribute to the maintenance of the bridges to which they are now the main user.

(We hope to post a better graphic representation of this chart soon. Perhaps the Dept. of Transportation will release an update.]

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