Brooklyn Bridge to Be Closed to Cyclists for Bike Traffic Calming

2397581278_1e9323246d.jpgThe Brooklyn Bridge will be closed to cyclists this Saturday and Sunday, November 1 and 2, from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. for what DOT describes as measures to calm bike traffic on the promenade.

From an e-mail issued by the Brooklyn borough commissioner’s office earlier this week:

NYCDOT will be implementing enhanced markings and
signage on the Brooklyn Bridge Promenade (Bicycle/Pedestrian Path) in
order to calm bicycle traffic and reduce potential bicycle-pedestrian

Here are more details from the DOT web site:

The Brooklyn Bridge bicycle and pedestrian path will be intermittently closed
to cyclists on several upcoming Saturdays and some weeknights to allow DOT
workers to remove outdated signage, install new markings, update pavement
symbols and improve the pedestrian crossing at the Washington Street entrance.
These changes are necessary to minimize bicycle and pedestrian conflicts on the
path and to ensure the safety of all path users.

The Manhattan Bridge is the suggested alternate route.

This had us wondering what, if anything, DOT’s plans have to do with the recent ticketing blitz aimed at bridge bike commuters. But the press office would only refer us to the NYPD, saying "we do not issue tickets."

Photo: Sugar Pond/Flickr

  • Which is the Washington Street entrance?

  • somebody

    the stairs

  • Streetsman

    Somehow I don’t think they are going to fulfill my dream of making one of the vehicle lanes in each direction a physically-separated bike lane and leaving the walkway for pedestrians. There just aint enough room on that bridge for all the folks trying to use it.

  • “the stairs”

    Ah. That must be someone’s hobby horse. I have never understood why that minor intersection needs so many lines and signs, “stop” I think (maybe even the beloved “dismount”?). I just slow down and, on the rare occasion that it is necessary, stop. I did once pass a cyclist that had taken a spill; no pedestrians appeared to be injured or angry. Mostly I’ve seen that people taking the stairs have the good sense to “change lanes” before they get there.

    I wonder what changes the DOT will make.

  • I think the whole thing is kind of dumb.

  • nycbikecommuter

    I love riding the Brooklyn Bridge, but I see so many bikers riding as fast as they can under all circumstances. It’s dangerous, inconsiderate and abusive to pedestrians and other riders. You know, if you can’t regulate yourselves, then government will have to step in. This may be what’s going on.

  • Mr Paul Steely White, Executive Director of Transportation Alternatives, aka Mr. Waxing Gibbous Mooney, will have to do something else this weekend. Think of all the walkers on the bridge who will be devoid of certain x-ratedness thanks to the bike ban.

  • m to the i

    The reason this feels particularly bad is that the DOT has not shown anyone their designs or asked for input. It is forcefed. If the bicycle calming happens to be disliked by cyclists and pedestrians then we will be able to complain after the implementation. That means it will likely have no effect. I guess we have to trust that this bike-friendly DOT will do us right and see what happens.

  • Niccolo Machiavelli

    Trust? What a peculiar concept.

  • Grinner

    I don’t have a lot of confidence that re-signing the path will
    make much of a change. I frequently have bicycle-pedestrian
    conflicts while the pedestrian is standing on the bycycle icon that’s
    painted on the planks. Combining that experience with the constant
    pedestrian traffic on the Hudson River Park bike path leads me
    to the conclusion that people either can’t read (“No pedestrians
    on the bike path” is posted twice at Chelsea Piers), can’t match
    their actions to the icons, actually enjoy sucking exhaust, or just
    don’t give a damn.

    For the Brooklyn Bridge, as Streetsman mentions, the obvious
    solution is to take a lane from the auto tier and convert that to
    a (physically seperate) bike lane. Or pedestrians could be required to view a short 5-15 minute educational video+quiz before being allowed to start walking over the bridge. Or, as the problem seems to be directly related to the volume of pedestrian traffic, the volume could be controled via turnstile/ticket-taker. Or the non-auto level could be made pedestrian only, but, if you’ve ever tried pushing your bike through Grand Central, you know that making cyclists walk their bikes through the masses only ends in tears.

  • misterbadexample

    As was said in virtually every Star Wars pic, ‘I’ve got a bad feeling about this’.

    I’m in agreement that the current situation is untenable– there are too many cyclists and pedestrians to share the current space. But since they aren’t closing the roadway, someone is about to lose.

  • So, bike commuting has increased 35% in the past year, and they’re going to implement bike-calming measures? How about giving over that car lane to bikes? If auto commuting had increased by 35%, you can be sure they’d be building an entire new bridge.

  • The suggestion on converting one of SIX car lanes into two-way bike path is great!

    They should separate one regular traffic lane (going into Manhattan) for bikes (both ways) and leave three out-of-Manhattan lanes.

    Then peds would have all ‘upper deck’ of the bridge for themselves!

  • Oh but don’t forget that, according to The Post, bike commuting has increased due to “costlier buses and subways.” After all, the subway fare has risen from $2 in 2003 to $2 in 2008. An enormous increase!! If the cost ever drops back down to $2, then everyone will stop riding bikes again. So they can’t take anything away from the cars.

    What is it with The Post refusing to even consider that motorists might be switching to bikes? Even with the doubling of gas prices over the last 5 years staring them in the face they still have to make up ridiculous claims of costlier public transit to account for the increase in bike usage.

  • Doug

    If they closed the Brooklyn Bridge to cars they wouldn’t call it “traffic calming.” They would call it “traffic.” And no one would stand for it.

    It’s said over and over again: pedestrians and cyclists are left to fight over the scraps of New York City street space. I’m not saying that there aren’t problems with cyclists on the Brooklyn Bridge, but it’s a function of space more than it is behavior, since bad behavior is most certainly amplified in smaller spaces. Yeah, some cyclists are jerks, but if they were allowed to ride in just one lane of the car lanes, the pedestrians would never have to cross paths with cyclists again.

  • JF

    You know, if you can’t regulate yourselves, then government will have to step in.

    I can regulate myself fine. I can’t regulate other people. Isn’t that what government is for?

  • Johnny Walker

    It’s about time!
    Pedestrians outnumber cyclists there over 10 to 1, but must share 1:1. That’s just not fair. On that path, the 2-wheelers act often as arrogantly as the 4-wheelers. Let the cyclists take the Manhattan or Williamsburg Bridge, and reserve the Brooklyn for the greenest mode of transportation: walking.

    The Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges are close enough to each other that for safety and sanity, surely it is no inconvenience for the cyclists to bike a few hundred yards extra.

  • Walker, I don’t know if you read the post but this closure is temporary, for a total of 14 hours. The path is closed to bicycles as I’m typing this; it will be open at 2 pm. It is for path maintenance, and I appreciate that the DOT is doing it on a weekend to have minimal effect on people that ride that route to work. If you’re going anywhere below city hall, Manhattan Bridge is not at all convenient and extends the unpleasant and dangerous street riding that is still the only option in the financial district. Bicycle traffic “calming” is precisely the right thing to do on Brooklyn Br; it will hardly affect those that already ride slowly and courteously, but will slow down the ones who are scaring others and occasionally (#?) causing injury. And in doing so it will alter the trip calculation for speed riders, such that it makes more sense for them to zip up to Manhattan Br (which they can handle, ipso facto) even if Brooklyn Br is closer.

  • Ian Turner

    Mr. Walker,

    Yours is a classic fighting-over-the-scraps mentality. The problem is not too many cyclists but rather too much space allocated to cars. The right way to solve this problem is not to take options away from cyclists but rather to give them a dedicated lane, taken from the overengineered auto level.

  • With Walker

    Taking rights away from cyclists on the Brooklyn Bridge is EXACTLY the right response as they are the vast minority of users and by far the greatest threat to pedestrians.

    Pedestrian and cyclist goals are NOT aligned and its time to quit pretending they are – cyclists are as much a menace to pedestrians in this city as cars, and offer little in the way of a true transportation alternative; walkable sidewalks and mass transit networks are MUCH more important that allowing 20 – 40 somethings in spandex the ability to pedal thru the city in temperate months.

    The city HAS a great pedestrian network that is now under threat by cyclists. Pedestrian comments complaining about bikes are not fighting for scraps: they are defending one of the few places in the United States where people can walk, a place of wide sidewalks where one shouldn’t have to be on constant lookout for idiots rolling by at 20mph.

    Fight your bike battles with the cars all you want, but keep your vehicles off the sidewalks, out of the trains, and away from gathering places designed for PEOPLE. Does that make you sad? Then move to the exurbs where you can pedal all you want without interference from cars or people.

    Look for a sea change in 2009 – the pedestrians of NYC are sick of your bullying crowd.

  • cyclists are as much a menace to pedestrians in this city as cars

    They really aren’t, in any meaningful sense. If you’re insisting on such nonsense, then the rest of your argument is suspect.

  • Doug

    Yeah, the stats simply don’t support that. Pedestrians are killed and injured by cars on a regular basis in this city. But there have been no recorded instances of a pedestrian being killed by a cyclist in the past 10 years.

    Not that there aren’t arrogant, jerky cyclists out there menacing pedestrians and doing some really stupid things, but I think people take their anger out on all cyclists because the fight against cars seems so pointless: how can any person of flesh and blood fight against two-ton metal vehicles? You can’t. We see so many bad drivers flouting so many traffic laws, speeding, and being rude that it seems impossible to fight them all.

    So, you see a lot of messengers cut through a light, a delivery guy go the wrong way on a one-way street, or a pack of Lance wannabes brush you back as you walk across the bridge. Suddenly they become a stand-in for all cyclists. Trust me, the vast majority of bikes out there don’t want to hit you any more than you want to be hit. Given the levels of ridership in the city, I think it’s truly a case of a few bad apples. Just as I’d say the vast majority of drivers obey the law but the few that don’t get a disproportionate amount of attention because they cause a disproportionate amount of problems.

    I wouldn’t discount anyone’s personal experiences, but they are not a substitute for facts and statistics. Bikes, while seemingly annoying, are hardly the menace they are often portrayed to be in the comments section of blogs or on the editorial page of the New York Post.

    Bikes are an easy target: dorky looking people in silly helmets, spandex, or with a pant leg wrapped up by a reflective ankle strap. (And I say this as a bike commuter.) Pedestrians should realize that they have more in common with cyclists than they do with cars. If there’s more space for both of us and less for cars, these close encounters won’t be a problem. Visit many European countries and you’ll find this to be true.

  • But there have been no recorded instances of a pedestrian being killed by a cyclist in the past 10 years.

    I wouldn’t go that far, Doug. There was a pedestrian
    killed on September 19. It’s about one pedestrian a year. We shouldn’t minimize that danger.

    However, the danger doesn’t need minimizing, because the number of pedestrians killed by cars is more than 100 per year. The number of pedestrians killed by cyclists is dwarfed by the number of pedestrians killed on the sidewalk by cars.

  • I have created a group for Brooklyn Bridge Cycle Track Advocates. I hope that it will draw the energy of both cyclists who want to get over the bridge without dodging pedestrians, and pedestrians who want to get all those cyclists off the walkway.

  • James

    Walker & his sidekick, give me a break. We’re talking about a city with an overcrowded mass transit network here. It’s not going to get any better in the foreseeable future because the MTA is flat broke. Walking is hardly a viable commuting option for the vast majority of city residents and we all know cars constitute a menace in most of the city. Your false equivocation between bikes and cars is laughable, and “move to the suburbs/exurbs” is always the refuge for those who don’t have any solutions for problems in this city. It’s the NYC equivalent of “America, love it or leave it”.

  • Ian Turner

    With Walker,

    I am not a cyclist and have never ridden a bike in New York, so please spare me your vitrol. The bottom line is this: Cycling is something we want to encourage, because it is good for the environment and for public health. Driving is something we want to discourage, because it is bad for the environment, for public health, for national security, and much else besides. For that reason, it is reasonable and desirable to take space away from cars and give it to cyclists. In particular, it is the best way of resolving pedestrian-cyclist conflicts on the Brooklyn Bridge.

    You say that pedestrians are defending “one of the few places in the United States where people can walk”: But that is the very definition of scraps! Pedestrians should have plenty of space, but it should be taken away from cars, not cyclists. If you want to talk about an inequitable allocation of space, look no further than Times Square, where pedestrians outnumber auto passengers by more than 10 to one and yet somehow cars still rule the roost.

  • Walker T-Ranger

    No Walker suggested that cars deserve more space – we agree that they have too much, and this walker for one would be happy to see one lane removed from every road.

    But lets be clear: sidewalks are for walking ONLY. Cyclist much too often fail to acknowledge this, and their sidewalk incursions are countless compared to cars.

    Of course a person isn’t killed every time a bike comes on the sidewalk, but I know of three people who’ve been seriously injured by bicyclist who knocked them down and sped away. I doubt these injuries show up in official statistics.

    More to the point: pedestrians are not IMAGINING that cyclists are riding on the sidewalk more often than cars; running red lights more often than cars; and generally adding to the already stressful life of pedestrians. These complaints are real, and the backlash is coming.

    Pedestrians reclaiming the sidewalks in NYC for their rightful users are not “taking away from cyclists”; they are defending themselves from unlawful activity that has the potential of serious physical injury – we do not want to have to wear helmets too.

    Finally, the notion that 12,500 riders per year is significant in a city of 8 million is ridiculous – what’s that, 35 per day? Cyclists represent a tiny portion of the population, and costs devoted to accomodating them come at the cost of other mass-transit options (for example, what if bike lanes were dedicated bus lanes instead, serving thousands of more people per day than a bike lane and truly adding year-round commuting capacity), and at the cost of expanded areas for pedestrians themselves, who are BY FAR the predominate users of the sidewalks.

    Its fun to play with toys but, except for a very few, cyclists are fair-weather cinderella commuters that, in the end, depend on subways, buses, and cars (cue the hidden self-loathing of cyclists who secretly own them) to get around just as sure as the rest of us.

    You want more room to play? Thats fine, but please don’t try to buddy up to pedestrians to fight your battles with cars: we want you off the sidewalks, out of the squares, and generally away from any place where people are trying to relax without being run over.

  • More to the point: pedestrians are not IMAGINING that cyclists are riding on the sidewalk more often than cars; running red lights more often than cars; and generally adding to the already stressful life of pedestrians.

    Yes, you are imagining that cyclists run red lights more often than cars. Or at least, you’re working from a subjective impression. My subjective impression runs counter to that: I see cars running red lights all the time. The only way to tell whose impression is closer to the truth is to actually count them.

    I’d spend more time on this, but your repeated use of the fighting words “play” and “toys” indicates that you’re more interested in starting a fight than in working together to find solutions. In other words, a troll.

    I will say this: every cyclist is also a pedestrian, and many people who ride bicycles regularly still spend most of their travel time on foot or on transit. We know what it’s like to be a pedestrian, and the vast majority of us act accordingly. So don’t try to set yourself up as the Protector of the Pedestrians against the Cyclists who are All Reckless.

  • Doug

    “Its fun to play with toys but, except for a very few, cyclists are fair-weather cinderella commuters that, in the end, depend on subways, buses, and cars (cue the hidden self-loathing of cyclists who secretly own them) to get around just as sure as the rest of us.”

    This is one of my favorite silly arguments. Shorter version of the above: because people who ride bikes don’t — or in some cases, can’t — ride every day, it’s silly to devote resources to encourage cycling.

    If I can ride even 100 out of 365 days, that’s 100 days where I’m not using gasoline to drive a car. That’s 100 days where I’m not contributing CO2 to the atmosphere. That’s 100 days where the money I would have spent on gas can go to local businesses. For subway riders who would rather ride, that’s 100 days where there might be an extra seat for those who can’t.

    These all-or-nothing arguments are so silly. The point is not to get people to ride their bikes 100% of the time. The point is to give them the option to ride them when the conditions are favorable. The point is to take a multi-faceted approach to transit, one that discourages the use of the individual car if at all possible.

    Here’s another goodie:

    “Cyclists represent a tiny portion of the population, and costs devoted to accomodating them come at the cost of other mass-transit options…”

    Didn’t the congestion pricing study show that only about 5% of New Yorkers use their cars to get to work? That’s a tiny portion of the population and a heck of a lot of costs are devoted to accommodating drivers at the cost of other mass-transit options. (The congestion pricing defeat being the prime example.)

  • Larry Littlefield

    I will say this about shifting the cyclist to the roadway.

    It seems a good idea to me, but my wife has started riding to work some days, and she says she would stop because of the noise and fumes if she had to ride adjacent to the motor vehicles. Perhaps it wouldn’t be as bad as she might imagine.

    She also said she saw a cyclist cursing pedestrians reading the plaques on the “wrong” side of the tower platforms. It is hard to engineer out assholes, regardless of their mode.

  • somebody

    ah, yes, the plaques on the pylons . . . perhaps they could be moved to the pedestrian side.

  • Johnny Walker

    I’m glad to see that I had some supporters. Thanks ‘with walker’ and ‘walker t-ranger’

    Although this site it for ‘livable streets’, it has been hi-jacked by an incestuous group of cycling zealots, often nasty, who never seem to change from day to day. Whenever someone comes on defending pedestrians (don’t even think about cars), the bike chains come out and the Hell’s Angels on two wheels surface.

    Facts are, cyclists have been and will always be a tiny fraction of the population in this great city.

    The small fraction of cyclists who terrorize the populace and the large fraction who disobey the law constantly may not kill like cars, but they do cause a disproportionate number of injuries and certainly a huge amount of fear and concern. How does one measure the instillation of terror and fear they create, running red lights and commandeering sidewalks, while whining they get no respect?

    I expect the usual zealots to come out and attack me. Knock yourselves out. That is their modus operandi here. They’ll blame pedestrians for jaywalking, ignoring the fact that when they get off their bikes, they become the very pedestrians they disdain. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.

    Vent all you want at me and the others who dare question your fanaticism. Fact is, most pedestrians have no respect for cyclists (visit Curbed or Gothamist, e.g.) because your solipsism precludes respect for everyone else who doesn’t ride a bike AND agree with you.

    For the record, I learned to ride at 8 years old in NYC, I own a bike and do not own a car. I am just not crazy enough to ride it in the city. And
    not crazy enough to continue a useless dialogue with those so blind that they will not see.

  • JF

    And not crazy enough to continue a useless dialogue with those so blind that they will not see.

    Bullshit, you just continued the dialogue. Crazy or not, you’re an asshole who enjoys vicious attacks and loves to get the last word. Looking forward to seeing your rant deleted by the mods.

  • Doug

    “The small fraction of cyclists who terrorize the populace and the large fraction who disobey the law constantly may not kill like cars, but they do cause a disproportionate number of injuries…

    It’s funny to watch the mental gymnastics. This discussion happens at least once a week here, and it always goes like this.

    “Cyclists kill pedestrians!”
    “Actually, there are no stats to prove that. In fact, the real stats don’t bear that out.”
    “Well, they injure a lot of pedestrians.”
    “Again, no.”
    “Well, they’re jerks! And Gothamist and Curbed readers say so!”

    You are correct that cyclists cause a disproportionate number of injuries…to themselves. I’m more likely to get injured from a fall, a pothole, or other accident than I am to harm a pedestrian. There are simply zero statistics to prove that pedestrians are suffering from a massive wave of cyclist-caused injuries. Zero. The only stats you seem to cite are the numbers of comments on Curbed and Gothamist.

    I think most of the people who read this site and who comment here aren’t zealots. We’re moderate advocates of livable streets, pedestrians and cyclists alike. As a cyclist, I will always cede the point that some bikers are total, 100% a-holes. They ruin it for a lot of courteous, less-attention-grabbing riders like most of the people who I know who are involved with Streetsblog. But as my rabbi likes to say, a jerk is a jerk and a mensch is a mensch. That jerk on a bike would probably be a jerk in a car if he lived somewhere else. In life, we tend to notice jerks a lot more than the nice guys.

    The real thing to remember is that people who want to ride their bikes to work or around the city and people who want to walk in peace have a lot more in common with each other than either of them have with drivers. We all want clean air, less noise, safer streets, and more places to spend time outdoors. When we work together for common sense solutions, we all win!

  • Johnny Walker

    People who call others ‘asshole’, ‘crazy’ and their opinion ‘bullshit’ prove my point about the zealots here. Thanks, I appreciate it. QED

    Mods: take note of offensive and abusive language coming from JF!


  • JF

    Troll: You’re an incestuous group of disdainful zealots, and you always attack people.
    JF: You’re an asshole!
    Troll: Help, I’m being oppressed!

  • Emily Litella

    DOT would not be spending money here if there were not a serious danger to peds. Lets be glad nobody is seriously considering banning bikes on the BB. At some point demand for bike access will increase to the point that a roadway lane can be converted into a safe two-way cycle track. The police seem to block a lane anyway for security reasons. We don’t even know what the changes are. Is it so bad if it ends up adding a couple of minutes to the ride? Relax people and worry about real threats to our future instead.

  • This particular Walker (a ped, not a cyclist) considers peds and cyclists to be on the same side. I have been critical of cyclists who misbehave — but on a day-to-day basis, cars do the most damage to me. The physical threat from cars, the pollution from cars, the noise from cars, especially the honking, and the road rage.

    I will note, however, that there’s also such a thing as bike rage. It’s an inevitable consequence of having to share the streets with cars and I sympathize. I also note a new category in this thread — ped rage! New to me, anyway. Let’s find a way to channel it creatively, fellow Walkers.

  • The markings that were laid down on the BB when I went across at 3am sunday morning were shrinking and defining the path cyclists should take around the Towers.

    We in the cycling/bike commuting community have to help educate the naysayers and the present biking population. I ride every day of the year, if it is more than 2 blocks or less than 20 miles, I will commute to it. (and never in spandex) I don’t ride on sidewalks, but I know who those trolls are talking about. Mostly it seems to be food delivery guys who, when not bringing your own ordered in lunch or dinner, are the bane of every New Yorker’s existence. I was riding the closed marathon route yesterday, (on Bedford in Willburg where the road is 5 lanes wide) with only me in the street. I watched a delivery guy on the sidewalk, impatiently ring his bell to get around some pedestrians. I am not saying I at all agree with these moron Trolls from above, but part of our fight to turn this city into the bikable metropolis we know it could be, is on us to police those that offend a public who is dying to find fault with us. I think some posters pointed out very well, the fight is not with bikes, but with what the city allows cars to do, and how peds then get shorted.

    We definitely need to take a lane of traffic from the cars and give it to cyclists. I use the BB all the time, but on a crowded day, the bikes and ped mixing is a terrible idea. Of course until this weekend the signage delineating space has been pretty much nonexistent.

  • Erin

    FYI: the bridge work is relatively minimal. They’re re-doing some of the striping, and trying to paint “lanes” to one side of the bridge pylons, to keep two-way bike traffic flowing. Hopefully they’ll repaint the bike symbols which are faded, even though they don’t really help keep the pedestrians on the pedestrian side.

    I walked across the bridge yesterday, on my way to pick up my bike at my friend’s apartment. The bridge is in a sorry state. The entire thing needs repainted, badly. You can barely hear anything above the noise of the traffic on the lower decks.

    Looking down, I did think that it would be best to dedicate one lane of the six existing to bike traffic. As a cyclist, I am not thrilled at the prospect of being closer to the raging and deafening cars, but it’s better than the alternative. I don’t care what any retarded anti-cyclist says; we bikers shouldn’t have to bike at walking speed, and we’re not all reckless. If you want guaranteed free and clear roads for cars, then YOU go (back) to the suburbs. And if your counter-argument is going to be “Actually, I’m from New York City”, then you probably don’t know any better and you just idealize the car culture that the rest of us have already lived with in the past. It sucks, stop idealizing it, live a healthy and sustainable life, and don’t waste your time trying to stop me from living a healthy and sustainable life.

  • cb3

    Walker T-Ranger,

    Before you use figures from a study in your argument, please take the time to actually read the study so that you understand the numbers that you are citing. The 12,500 number you cited is actually a 12 hour count of cyclists entering and exiting the the center of Manhattan (defined as the NYC Bicycle Screenline Count). The number cited by the report is only a means by which to estimate trends in bicycle use from year to year and does not adequately reflect the total number of cyclists. The total number of cyclists on any given day could well be higher as the count only takes place at specifice locations and only covers a 12 hour period. Cyclists not passing through one of those points in that 12 hour period are not reflected in the count.

    Given that the 12,500 number represents the number of cyclists counted in a 12 hour period, your math does not work. You can’t divide this number by 365 to obtain the number of cyclists per day. In actuality, you should probably multiply the number by 365. Doing so, you end up with a total of over 4.5 million bicycle commuters per year. Of course this assumes that all those riders ride every day, which is probably not the case. My point is only that you need to understand the figures you are citing as evidence in your argument.

  • m to the i

    Its always amazing to me how pedestrians get so emotional about bicyclists not obeying the rules of the road. Yet, as a bicyclist and pedestrian, I would say it is pedestrians, maybe even more than automobile drivers, who don’t follow the rules of the road and put others and themselves in danger.

    I’m not trying to be accusatory, but lets get real and try to be productive rather than combative.

  • Doug


    I think it’s the same as with bikes and cars: for every pedestrian who acts foolishly or even dangerously there are hundreds if not thousands more who act responsibly and who deserve our respect and consideration. This is a city of millions of people, so even a small percentage of people doing reckless things will have big consequences.

    It’s just a matter of the bad behavior attracting more attention — and causing more harm, potentially — than the good, no matter the mode of transportation. We have to combine a personal accountability with a sense of shared responsibility.

  • brooklyn biker

    Has anyone riddern the bridge since the work was done? What was done?

  • chris

    Why don’t they expand the decking over the bridge over the roadway? At nearly all normal waking hours, the current ped/bike deck is overcrowded. Is there some engineering reason it couldn’t be expanded?

  • Grinner

    Brooklyn Biker (#44):

    I rode over last week, and it seemed as Erin said: they painted a white line along the uptown side of the bike lane — as if cyclist needed help remembering not to get their handlebars tangled in the cables of the bridge — and put actual lanes at the towers, so cyclists coming from opposite directions don’t both try to cut the corner. The biker icons on the boards hadn’t been repainted when i was there, and i saw no giant signs directing the different parties to their sides. There are small signs that explain that there is a cyclist lane and a pedestrian lane, but they remain pretty inobtrusive. I was hoping for something flashing, with the Subway announcer saying “cyclist ride with caution; pedestrians, please look before stepping into the bike lane. Thank you for crossing… the Brooklyn Bridge.”

    I’ve been thinking about this work, and, while i appreciate the effort, the timing seems to be very off. Yes, it has been a warm October and November, and yes, the cycling counts for the East River bridges is up; but soon the cold rains will be falling, and the bridge congestion will work itself out for the winter. When the cold rains turn to snow, both cyclist and pedestrian traffic will dwindle. Then, by the time the rains and cold leave, the new paint will be as faded as the old. I’m sure that there is some budget magic i can’t see at work, but it seems to me that new paint serves better in the spring, when the crowds are again forming, than in the fall, when the crowds are fading.

  • I have created a group for Brooklyn Bridge Cycle Track Advocates. I hope that it will draw the energy of both cyclists who want to get over the bridge without dodging pedestrians, and pedestrians who want to get all those cyclists off the walkway.

    Sorry everyone, there was a problem with the group at first. It should be working now; please consider joining!


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About a year behind schedule, a major project to improve walking and biking between Queens and Brooklyn is set to move forward in 2015. The project, originally scheduled to be complete this year, will convert one southbound car lane on the Pulaski Bridge into a protected bike lane, giving more breathing room to pedestrians on what […]

Bike & Ped Improvements Slated for Manhattan Bridge Approach

DOT plans to build a physically-separated two-way bike lane on this one block stretch of Canal Street at the foot of the Manhattan Bridge. The project also includes pedestrian safety fixes. The Manhattan approach to the Manhattan Bridge, where Chinatown and the Lower East Side come together in a jumble, has long presented one of […]