No Bikes Allowed: The Verrazano Bridge

Traveling between Brooklyn and Staten Island isn't possible by bicycle alone.

 

There are miles of bike lanes in both Brooklyn and Staten Island, but as of 2017 a plan from the City of New York has yet to include a bike lane or pedestrian path on the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, which connects the two boroughs.

However, there are a number of ways to access Staten Island with a bicycle including ferry services between Brooklyn and Manhattan and Staten Island as well as riding on one of the Metropolitan Transport Authority's (MTA's) new buses that had bike racks added in early 2017.

Still, these methods of transportation are often difficult and time-consuming and deter droves of bikers from venturing out to New York's fifth borough. The only time the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge is open to cyclists is for special occasions such as the annual Five Boro Bike Tour when lanes of traffic are reduced to create temporary bike lanes for the duration of the tour.

Getting Your Bike to Staten Island From Brooklyn

Currently, there are a number of ways you can transport your bicycle from Brooklyn (or Manhattan) to Staten Island, but each method takes significantly longer than simply biking across the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge.

The easiest of these methods is to actually ride your bicycle into Lower Manhattan along the waterfront to the Staten Island Ferry Terminal where you can pay a fee to transport yourself and your bike to the island borough. In total, the trip from Bushwick to Staten Island's Saint George Ferry Terminal takes a little over an hour with the right timing.

Another option is to bike down to Fort Hamilton, Brooklyn, which is the southernmost edge of Brooklyn and right near the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. There, you can hop on one of the MTA city buses—which hopefully has a bike rack. If you're lucky enough to get one of these newer buses, the entire journey will take you around an hour and a half.

Progress on Bike Lanes on the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge

In late 2015, New York City's MTA introduced a bill to install bike and pedestrian lanes across the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, but as of late 2017, there has still been no progress on getting the bill passed or the construction started for this project.

Instead, lobbyists and lawmakers in the city claimed the project would cost upwards of 300 million dollars, an estimate that many critics suspected was padded with unnecessary spending and perhaps even as a way to dissuade voters from approving the initiative.

Apparently, the plan worked. In early 2016, the bike and pedestrian path plan was scrapped from the renovation project list for the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, which now instead features an additional HOV lane, allowing more cars to pass between Brooklyn and Staten Island while doing nothing to fix the issue of bike access between the boroughs.

So, it looks like for the time being hopeful bicyclists who want to experience both Brooklyn and Staten Island in a single day will have to settle for taking a bus or ferry between the two—not the worst case scenario, but this definitely dissuades hundreds of bikers a day from making the trek.