Several New York City Council members want to double the width of an elevated path on the Brooklyn Bridge to accommodate pedestrians and cyclists who are increasingly using the bridge to commute from downtown Brooklyn to lower Manhattan.
The proposal, announced Tuesday, calls for the creation of a designated bike lane, which would occupy a quarter of the expanded space. The other three quarters would be reserved for pedestrians, council members said. Motorists using the roads below the elevated path would not be affected. Currently, pedestrians and cyclists share a two-lane path.
Each day, an average of 7,100 pedestrians and bicyclists cross the iconic bridge, according to the New York City Department of Transportation. On a nice day in May 2010, there were 15,000 pedestrians who walked across the bridge.
"On many days, the path is filled beyond capacity, creating an unsafe situation for both pedestrians and cyclists," said Brad Lander (D-Park Slope), who represents neighboring constituents who use the bridge.
The local lawmakers said the proposed expansion would cost a "significant" sum of money, but they did not say how they would pay for it.