The scrum of wandering tourists, cyclists, and joggers that often hinders easy access to the Brooklyn side of the Brooklyn Bridge may soon be a thing of the past. The New York Times reports that the city will invest $22 million into building a new entrance with wider pathways (16 feet versus 14 feet) for both pedestrians and bikers, along with improvements to the bike lanes, and better separation between the two.
The improvements have already begun: According to the Times, new paths that lead onto the so-called “cattle chute”—the concrete path that cyclists and pedestrians currently share, which connects to Tillary Street—have already been completed, and work is underway to get the rest of the path in shape.
There will also be a little bit of sprucing up, with landscaping being put in on either side of the new bike and pedestrian paths, and a new sculpture by New York artist Hank Willis Thomas to be installed at Adams and Tillary streets. And—in a boon for tourists—there will be improved signage directing people onto the bridge.
“[The Brooklyn Bridge] is a beautiful historic icon, one of the true symbols of New York City,” DOT commissioner Polly Trottenberg told the Times. “We are proud now it is going to have a grand entrance that particularly welcomes pedestrians and cyclists—that is overdue.”
The new entrance is part of a larger improvement plan for the New York icon: the entrance on the Manhattan side, which opens up onto City Hall Park, will get better bike infrastructure. On the Brooklyn side, the new entry path is part of a larger plan to make the surrounding area less desolate, with a new pedestrian plaza and wider sidewalks.
The bridge itself, meanwhile, has been the subject of a study by AECOM to determine whether an expansion of the pedestrian pathway—itself often a clogged mess—is possible. Soon, it could be a whole new Brooklyn Bridge.