Yesterday the Department of Transportation announced that it’s going to try to figure out a way to build a new, or widen the existing, pedestrian and bike path that crosses the Brooklyn Bridge. The plan aims to accommodate the thousands of selfie-takers, tourists, pedestrians and cyclists that cross the often dangerously cramped bridge.
Here is everything you need to know about the planed expansion:
- This is not the first time the city has looked at widening the path. A proposal in 2012 was ignored by Michael Bloomberg (Mayor at the time) and head of transportation, Janette Sadik-Khan.
- In 2012 the bridge would carry 4,000 pedestrians and 3,100 cyclists on an average weekday. Today we see 10,000 pedestrians and 3,500 cyclists crossing the bridge, daily.
- Polly Trottenberg, Department Of Transportation Commissioner, told the New York Times that a seven-month engineering study of the bridge starts today.
- A part of the study would be to ascertain how much weight the bridge can hold.
- Possibilities considered for the expansion and redevelopment, at the moment include:
- Bumping out the existing promenade over lanes of car traffic.
- Expanding the cement path at the base of the bridge on the Brooklyn side to take up unused space.
- Covering the single-file choke-point on the Manhattan stairway.
- Adding stop signs, crosswalks, and even concessions and Citi Bike stations to the areas around the towers.
- We shouldn’t be too hopeful about solving the congestion soon. Trottenberg had this to say:
“I have to tell you, every time we touch this 133-year-old bridge, it tends to be costly and complex,”
- The study is set to cost $370,000
- The widening of the iconic bridge will be green-lit only if engineers and the Department Of Transportation decide the project is worth pursuing.
Featured image source: [nytimes]