Brooklyn Bridge Bike Path Could Be Wider, Safer

Advocates want to see a safer plan for the proposed two-way path on one of the country's busiest commuter corridors.

1 minute read

April 27, 2021, 5:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Welcome to Brooklyn / Shutterstock

The bike path proposed for the Brooklyn Bridge by New York Department of Transportation (NYDOT) engineers, writes Alissa Walker in Curbed, is "four feet wide in each direction, which is just barely enough for two pairs of handlebars abreast." And while "any dedicated bike path on the bridge that’s clawed back from traffic is a big improvement," Walker writes that the NYDOT's plan "is not nearly ambitious enough for a crossing on what’s arguably one of the most famous bridges in the world in a city with the largest bike-share system outside of China." NACTO's urban bikeway design guide recommends a 12-foot width for two-way cycleways, and the "convoluted meander of connecting paths at either side of the bridge" creates "a reliable recipe for collisions and crashes."

After adding 28 miles of bikeways in the city over the past year, the half-hearted Brooklyn Bridge design just doesn't "add up," writes Walker. "In an alternate timeline, the city would have widened the promenade so people on bikes got fresh air and skyline views instead of being condemned to the car cage below. But even with an imperfect path, the bridge is certain to get even more riders." Hopefully, Walker notes, the influx of commuters will convince the city to install a wider, safer bikeway in the future.

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