Watch out! Safety on the Brooklyn Bridge walkway

Watch out! Safety on the Brooklyn Bridge walkway

If you’ve walked or biked over the Brooklyn Bridge on a nice day (or just seen the auto insurance commercial featuring bikes dodging an animated gecko on the bridge), you know that the New York landmark is just too crowded for everyone to use it safely.

The elevated path is home to 4,000 pedestrians and 3,100 bicyclists each day according to the Department of Transportation. Although the path is a key part of our city’s bicycle infrastructure and an iconic tourist destination, the limited space cannot accommodate the huge numbers of pedestrians and cyclists.

To keep the Brooklyn Bridge as a tourism resource for our city and a viable route for commuters, we need to come up with a more efficient plan to manage the shared space. Yesterday, along with Council Members Margaret Chin and Stephen Levin and Transportation Alternatives, I introduced a proposal to expand the path. This would triple the pedestrian space on the path and keep bikes clear of pedestrians. The path is above the roadway, so traffic lanes would remain untouched.

Please help us show that New Yorkers support expanding the Brooklyn Bridge pathway by signing our petition.

We recognize there will be many challenges as we move forward with this idea, such as creating a pathway design that complements the bridge’s historic character, resolving engineering issues, and finding sources of funding for the project. To overcome some of these challenges, we will be collaborating with the design and engineering community in the initial phases of the proposal. Local agencies are already signaling interest in the idea.

And the plan is already getting big press attention, with stories in today’s New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and New York Post, and on NY1.

Since it was built in an unprecedented engineering feat in 1883, the Brooklyn Bridge has hosted our ever-changing transportation infrastructure, beginning with horse drawn carriages and trollies, transitioning to cars, and now increasingly pedestrians and bicycles. This proposal will help the Brooklyn Bridge, a historic transportation achievement of the past, become the center of our city’s transportation future.

I hope we can count on your support to help make this a reality.