Spring 2003, p.18

Cycling News
Electeds Call on DOT to Make Brooklyn Side of the Manhattan Bridge Safe

In April, Brooklyn City Councilmember David Yassky wrote to DOT Commissioner Iris Weinshall and asked her to make the Brooklyn side of the Manhattan Bridge safe and convenient for bicyclists and pedestrians. State Senator Martin Connor sent a similar letter in June 2002. The elected officials asked the DOT to install crosswalks, stop signs and stop bars-essentially, the agency's own permanent plan. The Manhattan side of the bridge has been much safer since the DOT implemented these safety measures in Fall of 2001.

Instead of implementing its own plan, the DOT expects cyclists and pedestrians to use a quarter-mile long detour that requires cyclists to dismount for a block. The vast majority of path users ignore this detour. The DOT should follow its original plan and install the stop signs, crosswalks and pedestrian crossing signs immediately.
Despite the danger on the Brooklyn side, cycling use of the bridge has skyrocketed since the DOT conducted its last safety evaluation in August 2001. The number of cyclists crossing the Manhattan Bridge between 7 am and 10 am on an average August day has increased from 11 to 152. Everyday, 1,000 people bike and walk over the bridge, the vast majority of them biking and walking along Jay Street.

The DOT's permanent plan for the Brooklyn side of the Manhattan Bridge includes signs and markings (in red) that would greatly increase safety.

Tell the DOT that it is time for it to improve bicycle and pedestrian safety and install its permanent sign plan.
Write to:
Commissioner Iris Weinshall
40 Worth Street
New York, NY 10017

Read the latest news on this subject.