Brooklyn Bridge is an iconic New York City landmark, but walking and biking on it has become so popular that the crowds can be a nightmare.
As The New York Times notes, foot traffic on the bridge has tripled since 2008. Its promenade, a car-free area elevated above six lanes of traffic, features only one lane for cyclists and one for pedestrians. Cyclists often wind up swerving to avoid walkers in the slender lane, making the bridge dangerous and annoying to traverse.
The city has finally noticed — officials announced August 8 that the bridge’s promenade might soon get a much-needed expansion.
NYC’s Department of Transportation will fund a seven-month, $370,000 engineering study to assess how much weight the bridge can support.
If the 133-year-old bridge can hold enough weight, the city will then consider options for expanding the promenade, which could include the addition of four pedestrian-friendly lanes.
One proposed redesign — shown above — would include two new two-way pedestrian lanes that would be built on either side of the existing promenade, according to the report. The addition would be built on top of the existing steel beams above the car lanes. The original promenade would then be transformed into a two-way bike lane, making the promenade less crowded, officials said in a statement.
The redesign would be a long-overdue improvement to the bridge — crowds have gotten so bad, in fact, that officials have dubbed it the “Times Square in the Sky,” a nod to the overcrowded midtown hub that attracts throngs of tourists daily. It’s a name few landmarks want to share.
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