Five Boro Bike Tour is on, for now, but with added precautions
40 miles of busiest roadways in all boroughs, local streets
While many large-scale events throughout the city are being canceled due to the recent rise in COVID cases, the TD Five Boro Bike Tour, at least as of press time, is still scheduled for this Sunday, Aug. 22.
However, the organizers of the tour, Bike New York, have made a concession to the new age of caution brought on by the Delta variant. Only riders who can show proof of vaccination will be able to pick up their official packets at the indoor Metropolitan Pavilion on Manhattan’s West 18th Street on Friday or Saturday.
Others, who don’t have proof of vaccination, will have to pick up their official packets at a nearby, outdoor location.
The tour, which attracts both riders and spectators from Brooklyn, is usually held in May, but was postponed until August due to the COVID pandemic.
In recent years, the Brooklyn route has begun at the Pulaski Bridge, where cyclists ride south from Queens; proceeds on local streets in Greenpoint, Williamsburg and the Navy Yard area; goes into Downtown Brooklyn, the Cadman Plaza area and the Brooklyn Bridge Park area.
The route finally enters and proceeds down the Gowanus Expressway and onto the Verrazzano Bridge, on which cyclists proceed to Staten Island.
To accommodate the bike tour, at various times of the day, the westbound Gowanus Expressway starting at the Hugh Carey Tunnel, the Staten Island-bound Gowanus-BQE approach to the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge and the Staten Island-bound lower level of the bridge itself will be closed to regular traffic, according to DOT.
The event typically has drawn up to 32,000 riders annually and opens 40 miles of NYC’s busiest roadways for recreation, at least for the day. This year, because of added precautions, the cap on the number of riders has been lowered to 20,000.
“New York City is proud to celebrate the cycling boom—and the return of iconic events that highlight great neighborhoods in all five boroughs—by welcoming the TD Five Boro Bike Tour this summer,” New York City Senior Advisor for Recovery Lorraine Grillo said back in May. “We look forward to welcoming locals and tourists alike to enjoy a safe, exciting event this year.”
“Given the pivotal role that bikes have played in protecting the health, wellness, and safety of New Yorkers through the pandemic — especially for essential workers commuting to their jobs — it feels right that bikes will also play a part in powering New York City’s economic revitalization,” Ken Podziba, president and CEO of Bike New York, said at the same time.
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