Brooklyn Bridge Still Too Crowded for Cyclists and Tourists

08/16/2011 1:56 PM |

Lane-hogging tourists on the Brooklyn Bridge.

  • Lane-hogging tourists on the Brooklyn Bridge.

We’ve heard this one before (twice!), but in the Post‘s never-ending quest to vilify the city’s hundreds of thousands of cyclists no story is too over-covered to revisit, so: there’s not enough room for all those cyclists and all those tourists on the Brooklyn Bridge.

The Post recently sent a reporter to the much-visited landmark who reported seeing “three near-smashups in a few hours,” a tally so vague it’s strange it was even printed, in addition to being markedly fewer almost-accidents than one is sure to witness “in a few hours” on other crowded bike lanes like Grand Street in Chinatown or Prince Street in Soho.

The tabloid did talk to Nebraskan tourist Dennis Newman, who was admiring the view when he stepped on the thick white strip dividing the pedestrian and bike-riding sections of the 12.5 feet-wide path (10.5 feet in parts of the bridge being renovated) and collided with a cyclist. Before riding away the downed cyclist shouted: “What the fuck are you doing? There are bikes on the bridge!” Newman, meanwhile, ended up in the ER where he got 18 stitches. His takeaway from the incident:

It’s too dangerous to have bicyclists on the path… It’s a tourist city, and there are a lot of people who aren’t aware of the etiquette of the bridge.

We hear there’s a nice replica of the Brooklyn Bridge in Las Vegas that Newman could visit without having to worry about local etiquette.

It’s true, however, that crossing the Brooklyn Bridge is absolutely awful for pedestrians and cyclists alike—even more so right now because of ongoing renovations to the historic span. Which makes this an ideal time to reiterate a proposal articulated in a Times op-ed by Robert Sullivan two years ago: take a Brooklyn Bridge automobile lane away from motorists and make it a two-way protected bike lane. This needs to happen on several of the city’s bridges sooner rather than later, but none needs the bike-pedestrian path relief as badly as the Brooklyn Bridge. Make it happen, Janette Sadik-Khan.

(Photo: NYPL)

One Comment

  • You obviously don’t drive the Brooklyn Bridge much. It’s the only bridge with access to FDR making it a pretty congested vehicle route already. I bike the Brooklyn Bridge a few times a week and have never found it to be too unbearable. Besides, if it’s too crowded for you, take the Manhattan Bridge. It’s only a few blocks away and I never see tourists there.