Safer Motorcycle Access to Battery Tunnel

NYMSTF member and supporter Dan Sciannameo successfully took on the MTA Bridge & Tunnel Authority regarding consistent, safe access for motorcyclists to the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel, a.k.a. the Hugh L. Carey Tunnel.

During weekday morning rush hours, the HLC Tunnel opens the West (Brooklyn-bound) tube to two-way traffic, yielding one additional Manhattan-bound lane exclusively for HOV traffic approaching from the BQE/Gowanus HOV lanes.  The HOV traffic is fed neatly into toll lanes dedicated specifically (via cones and barriers) to the Manhattan-bound lane of the West tube.

Motorcycle riders approaching the HLC Tunnel from the BQE/Gowanus HOV lanes were being singled out by TBTA Police and diverted to the [one-way] East tube.  This involved an awkward and perilous (for both motorcycle rider and police officer) detour through the cones and barriers into the moving traffic from the non-HOV lanes.  This also increased motorcycle transit times dramatically due to more congested non-HOV traffic lanes.  Motorcycles are entitled to the use of HOV lanes under federal law.  There appeared to be no written policy anywhere regarding the unusual and unfair treatment of motorcycles at the HLC Tunnel and the behavior of the police seemed arbitrary and confusing.

After months of sometimes challenging encounters with TBTA Police as well as many phone calls, letters and emails, thanks to Dan, Manhattan-bound motorcycles approaching the HLC Tunnel from the BQE/Gowanus Bus/HOV lane are now officially permitted to proceed normally into and through the tunnel’s West tube along with the rest of the morning rush-hour HOV traffic.

For the convenience and protection of the New York City’s motorcycle riders we have uploaded copies of the official correspondence provided by Dan.

May 21 2015 – Letter to James Ferrara (President MTA Bridges & Tunnels)

June 15 2015 – Patrick Parisi (VP MTA B&T Operations) agreement to evaluate issue

July 30 2015 – Letter to James Ferrara requesting confirmation of policy

August 24 2015 – Confirmation from Patrick Parisi re West Tube access