Streetfilms Flashback: The Bad Old Days of the Pulaski Bridge

Later this morning, officials will cut the ribbon on the long-awaited Pulaski Bridge bikeway. Pretty soon, it will be tough to remember the claustrophobic anxiety of navigating the narrow path — just 8.5 feet wide, and even less at pinch points — that pedestrians and cyclists made do with before today.

So here’s some footage for posterity that Clarence shot in October, 2013. You’ll never have to deal with this again, New York.

We’ll have a full report from the grand opening and a new video from Clarence later today.

  • KeNYC2030

    What’s most amazing about Clarence’s video is how relatively empty of cars the road next to the crowded ped/bike lane is. And yet it took four years to persuade the city to repurpose a single underused car lane and get this built. What does that say about the prospects for changing a single car lane on the Brooklyn Bridge to relieve its chaotic and dangerous “bike lane” within most of our lifetimes?

  • Mackle

    One step forward. Now fix the LIC end so bikes have a clear path off and on the bridge.

  • Vooch

    brooklyn bridge peak daily motor traffic 120,000 cars. current peak motor traffic 99,000.

    Brooklyn Bridge Before Cars (1907) carried 425,000 people daily. In 2012, after cars BB carried a mere 125,000 people a day.

    Re allocating one of 6 motor lanes to cyclists would increase carrying capacity of BB by possibly as much as 15%. The horrible 3-6′ wide bike path supports nearly 4,000 cyclists each day. This suggests that a 12′ bike path would support 8,000 to 12,000 cyclists. The doubling of pedestrian space would lead to pethaps a tripling of pedestrians using the BB.

    The attached chart highlights that motor vehicles have reduced mobility by 1/2 on all East River Bridges

  • BrownBrown

    One small piece of the giant puzzle. It’s a nice start

  • And those Brooklyn Bridge numbers don’t factor in that no sane cyclist would ever venture across that bridge during peak tourist hours. Image if those sections were fully separated, like the Polaski. I’d love to see something done to the Queensboro Bridge, because cars get the upper and lower road decks, and we’re sharing a 10 ft wide space with pedestrian commuters, joggers, and east/westbound cyclists. We deserve something like what the Williamsburg Bridge has, especially with the increased development in Western Queens – we’ll just see a massive influx of cyclists in the coming years.


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