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Crossing The Brooklyn Bridge Will Become Much Less Crowded Thanks To New City Design Contest

Claire Leaden Claire Leaden

Crossing The Brooklyn Bridge Will Become Much Less Crowded Thanks To New City Design Contest

Walking across the Brooklyn Bridge is one of those iconic made-in-New-York moments, but if you’ve ever actually done it, it can be a lot less magical than you might expect.

Between tourists trying to get the perfect group photo, biking commuters making their way through and honking cars, it can turn into a scene of mayhem rather quickly. City officials are well aware of this issue, and are actually looking to New Yorkers themselves to help solve the problem.

The NYC DOT said that in 2016 over 120,000 cars, 4,000 pedestrians and 2,600 bicyclists use the bridge every single day. The current pedestrian and bike pathway is only between 10 and 17 feet in width (depending on the section), not nearly enough to hold all those people.

Though they have made some additions like protected bike lanes, larger sidewalks and a pedestrian plaza, the New York City Council and design group the Van Alen Institute are holding a competition for a better design of the bridge, coinciding with its 150th anniversary! They’re seeking “visionary ideas that would improve every aspect of the Brooklyn Bridge experience: access, the journey across, understanding of its history, landmark status and extraordinary engineering, and the meaning and pleasure that visiting one of the globe’s most iconic public spaces should deliver,” according to their announcement.

Here are the qualifications:

  • Proposals may be submitted by individuals OR design teams.
  • Six finalists will be selected, including three from people 22 years old and older (professionals), and three from people 21 and younger (young adults).
  • Finalists will work with Van Alen and the City Council for six to eight weeks, after which they will present their ideas to a public jury and one winner in each age group will be selected.
  • The professional winner will receive $13,000 and the young adult winner will received $3,000 to continue development their concepts.

The deadline is April 5, so get designing! Find out how exactly to submit a proposal on their website here.

featured image source: Van Alen Institute / Cameron Blaylock