City councilmen Brad Lander and Steve Levin have come up with a proposal to widen the Brooklyn Bridge's existing pedestrian and cyclist path. Hopefully, this would decrease the current congestion on the elevated walkway, which is so bad that biking commuters routinely go miles out of their way to avoid the clusterfuck that is the Brooklyn Bridge.
"Clusterfuck" is the direct translation of the French word for traffic jam "embouteillage."
Gothamist has the renderings of the proposed expansion and the plans show two important developments. Pedestrian walkway space would triple in size and the bike lane would have a physical partition rather than the oh-so-effective painted line that is currently in place. When will civilization learn that NO ONE pays attention to a painted line?
Before you get all excited about finally being able to ride over the Brooklyn Bridge without dodging pedestrians as part of your commute, Gothamist also reports that "for now, this is only a proposal; the plan has not yet been discussed with engineers, nor is there word on how much the project will cost."
The Brooklyn Bridge's iconic status means that developments come slowly, if at all, and with a whole lot of accompanying debates. The Brooklyn Paper spoke to Julie Golia, from the Brooklyn Historical Society who had this to say, "The walkway is essentially how it was in the original plan for the bridge. It was one of the many smart plans in John Augustus Roebling’s original plan that imagined it as not just a place of utility, but something that could enhance New Yorkers’ lives.”
Of course, John Augustus Roebling never could have imagined that well over a hundred years after the bridge first rose, it would be used by over 150,000 motorists, 4,000 pedestrians, and 3,000 cyclists each day. Hopefully the plan will get funded and implemented. Since the proposal wouldn't impact the roadway, it won't involve an extreme structural change to the bridge, but will increase the safety and ease with which pedestrians and cyclists make their way across.
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