Let's expand Brooklyn Bridge's Elevated Path

Let's expand Brooklyn Bridge's Elevated Path

Today, Councilmembers Brad Lander, Margaret Chin, and Stephen Levin, joined by transportation advocates, announced a proposal to double the width of the Brooklyn Bridge elevated path, a popular tourist destination and bike route for many commuters (proposal attached). On many days, the path is filled beyond capacity, creating an unsafe situation for both pedestrians and cyclists. The councilmembers also announced a competition to design the new path.

Three quarters of the expanded space would be reserved for pedestrians and one quarter would be designated for cyclists. As the elevated path is above the traffic lanes, the roadbed would remain unchanged.

“Connecting Brooklyn to Manhattan, the Brooklyn Bridge has become a key piece of New York’s bicycle infrastructure as well as a global tourist destination,” said Councilmember Brad Lander. “This proposal is a win-win-win, tripling the pedestrian space and giving bicyclists a dedicated lane, all without impacting car lanes. Let’s invest in our economy, transportation network, and public safety by making this improved Brooklyn Bridge a reality.”

“The Brooklyn Bridge is one of the most popular commuter and tourist areas in our city,” said Councilmember Margaret Chin. “It is also notoriously congested and difficult to navigate. By improving access for pedestrians and creating dedicated bike lanes on the bridge, we can improve safety and remove cars from our roadways. As the lower Manhattan and Brownstone Brooklyn communities continue to grow, the Brooklyn Bridge is becoming an increasingly vital connection. We must ensure this historic destination is equipped to handle our city’s growing transportation demands. I want to thank Council Member Brad Lander for his advocacy on this issue, and Council Member Stephen Levin for his support. This is an important issue and one our City should stand behind.”

"The Brooklyn Bridge is one of the most iconic symbols of New York City, as well as a vital conduit for business, tourism, and transportation,” said Councilmember Stephen Levin. “The expansion proposal will make everyone’s commute safe, accessible, and enjoyable for pedestrians, cyclists, and joggers alike, ensuring that transportation is no longer a one-way street on the Brooklyn Bridge." An average of 4,000 pedestrians and 3,100 bicyclists cross the Brooklyn Bridge every day according to DOT counts. On a single day in May 2010, DOT found a total of 15,000 pedestrians on the walkway.

The proposal would improve pedestrian safety, enhance the accessibility to this New York treasure, and better connect Brooklyn and Manhattan, all while leaving car lanes untouched. The councilmembers are seeking architecture and design partners to launch the elevated pathway design competition. Proposals would seek to realize the expanded pedestrian space, while addressing engineering challenges and maintaining a design that is compatible with the bridge’s historic character.

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