New Department of Transportation Proposal Could Expand Brooklyn Bridge With Upper Pedestrian Level

DOT’s concept for expanding the walking and biking path on the Brooklyn Bridge would build new paths over the steel girders that run above the main roadways.
DOT’s concept for expanding the walking and biking path on the Brooklyn Bridge would build new paths over the steel girders that run above the main roadways.
Photo: NYCDOT

If you have ever tried to bike across the Brooklyn Bridge, you know just how unsafe it is to both bikers and pedestrians. Absent-minded tourists often wander directly into the bike lanes, causing collisions and injury. Locals have to walk into bike lanes to avoid crowds of tourists stopped in the middle of the walkways. Something has to change.

A new proposal from the New York City Department of Transportation would make the existing walkway almost entirely bike lanes, while moving the bulk of pedestrians to a new platfom above the current automotive lanes.

The idea is to widen the pathway by building on top of the steel girders that run over the bridge’s main roadways. Most of the wooden deck for walking and biking is four feet below the girders, so the expansions would be at a higher grade than the current path. Trottenberg said DOT will also explore expanding the concrete approaches to the wooden deck on both the Brooklyn and Manhattan sides.

The Brooklyn Bridge has certainly been altered over its lifetime to accomodate changing traffic patterns and means of transportation. With bike ridership on the rise, is it time to prioritize bike lanes?

Brooklyn bridge 2x
Brooklyn Bridge

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