NEW YORK — The iconic Brooklyn Bridge is getting a major makeover that’s sure to benefit both bikers and pedestrians.
Starting Tuesday, crews will work to transform one of the bridge’s car lanes into a two-way bike lane, in an effort to relieve some of the congestion that builds when everyone’s commuting at once.
Bike ridership has only increased during the COVID pandemic, as more people turned to traveling on two wheels to get around town. This can become chaotic if there’s not a designated or protected bike lane, especially on major connectors like the Brooklyn Bridge.
For years, cyclists and pedestrians have shared a promenade on the Brooklyn Bridge, a setup that’s sparked some close calls when things get crowded.
That’s all going to change this year.
Plans for a dedicated bike lane on the landmark bridge have been in the works since Mayor Bill de Blasio’s final State of the City address back in January.
De Blasio is calling the project, “Bridges for the People.”
Tuesday kicks off a long, but likely helpful, transformation that will create a safer commute for cyclists and those crossing by foot.
The innermost Manhattan-bound car lane was shut down to vehicular traffic Monday night as crews started work on the project.
The new 8-foot wide protected bike path will have a concrete barrier separating cyclists from motorists.
The Brooklyn Bridge’s new bike path is part of de Blasio’s commitment to installing more than 30 miles of additional protected bike lanes in the city by the end of 2021.
The project will force some lane closures and delays, especially for drivers heading into Manhattan.
The bike lane is expected to be completed in early fall.