According to Council Speaker Corey Johnson “The Big apple's most iconic bridge needs a makeover”.
A design competition had been launched in February to examine imaginative ways to improve the Brooklyn Bridge, which in the past, before the coronavirus pandemic, had huge numbers of cyclists and pedestrians. It's a really wonderful location but because of overcrowding it's become dangerous.
Deborah Marton from the Van Alen Institute which is overseeing the competition says “maybe in the future we should have less cars on the bridge”.
6 finalists will be selected by a jury of design and transportation experts. The goal is to see the best designs for accommodating commuters, tourists and vendors. The plans will be submitted to the Department of Transportation.
Department of Transportation Chief of Operations Officer Margaret Forgione says”we welcome new and innovative ideas on how to reimagine the Brooklyn Bridge promenade to create more spaces for pedestrians and cyclists. According to a DOT report, pedestrians use of the bridge nearly quadrupled and the number of cyclists doubled from 2008 to 2015.
Council Speaker Johnson says “people can't cycle over the bridge now. It's nearly impossible, we need to figure out a way to make the bridge safer for pedestrians and safer for cyclists”.
Today, there is exciting news to report. The Brooklyn Bridge Forrest ”which will use sustainably harvested wood to benefit local communities in Guatemala, while safeguarding 200,000 acres of rain forest is a finalist in the competition to reimagine the Brooklyn Bridge.
The public can vote online to support this project from July 24-30.
The Brooklyn Bridge Forrest Project reimagines the historic bridge as a leader of climate action and social equity, improving mobility, while respecting the landmark structure.
A dedicated bike path and reclaimed traffic lane create new space for cyclists and low carbon transit, while biodiverse “micro forests” at either end of the bridge bring nature and greenspace for underserved communities.
This project is a collaborative effort between WLS, Pilot Projects Design Collective LLC, Cities 4 Forests, Grimshaw Architects LLP and Silman DCP.
According to Scott Francisco, director of Pilots Project Design Collective and Cities 4 Forests “this is the right time for cities to lead in global change starting with their own infrastructure. There could be no better place to start than the Brooklyn Bridge”.
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