NY Times: A New Bike Lane on the Brooklyn Bridge

Originally published in The New York Times

Credit: September Dawn Bottoms/The New York Times

On Friday, June 18, 2021, Precious Fondren reported on Mayor de Blasio's announcement, which Senator Kavanagh joined, regarding construction of protected bike lanes on the Brooklyn Bridge. The text of the story is below; the original is available via the link above.

A New Bike Lane on the Brooklyn Bridge
By Precious Fondren
June 18, 2021, 5:32 a.m. ET

Construction of a two-way bike lane on the Manhattan-bound side of the Brooklyn Bridge will begin Monday night, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Thursday.

A “radical reimagining of a New York City icon,” as he put it, the construction will transform the innermost Manhattan-bound traffic lane into an eight-foot-wide bike path. The addition of the bike lane, which is expected to open by the fall, will make the bridge promenade pedestrian-only.

“It will be part of a very ambitious plan,” Mr. de Blasio said at a news conference. “We are moving right now to create a record-shattering 30 miles of protected bike lanes this year.”

The background

Mr. de Blasio first announced plans for the bike lane back in January. It’s part of an effort to create safer biking routes for cyclists, who have long said that riding across the bridge is somewhat of a headache, with excited tourists posing for selfies and pedestrians clogging the bike lane.

“Anyone who’s tried to take a bike across the bridge, as I have, has experienced the confluence of the two big roles of the Brooklyn Bridge,” State Senator Brian Kavanagh said at the news conference Thursday.

“If you’ve tried to go across that path, you’ve seen the pedestrians, New Yorkers, and tourists often looking up at the great skyline of New York,” he said. “Bicycles trying to wind their way through that crowd is not ideal from any perspective, either from the perspective of tourists or the perspective of New Yorkers trying to get around.”

The context

Biking around the city skyrocketed during the pandemic as people tried to avoid public transit for safety reasons.

As life starts to return to normal, the leading Democratic candidates for mayor say they support building more bike lanes and reducing car traffic in the city.

The Brooklyn borough president Eric Adams told The New York Times he would build 300 miles of protected bike lanes in four years.

Mr. Adams, Scott M. Stringer, Maya D. Wiley and Raymond J. McGuire all said they supported expanding the city’s bike share program, Citi Bike.