Yesterday, Streetsblog outlined the grisly details of the very last phase of a 28-years-long renovation of the formerly broke and nearly demolished Manhattan Bridge, slated to begin at the end of this year. It involves replacing all four suspension cables one by one, which, for reasons only engineers understand, will be fairly easy for the middle two, slightly harder for the third (a shed will be constructed over the bridge pedestrian path, narrowing the passage but keeping it open), and insanely disruptive for the fourth. As a result, the city’s second-most cycled bridge is going to be extremely un-bike-friendly for almost an entire year.
That cable, the northernmost of the four, will take nearly a year to replace and make the bike path impossibly narrow for cyclists, who will likely be swapped over to the south side pedestrian walkway, the Manhattan side of which exits onto, like, the worst intersection in the city (Bowery and Canal), making this all in all a nightmarish situation. Basically, starting sometime in late spring of next year, the Williamsburg Bridge will become the only navigable Brooklyn-Manhattan span for cyclists (the Brooklyn Bridge being already overcrowded). Maybe someone will finally listen to Michael Sorkin’s suggestion that a lane of car traffic be given to cyclists.