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More than 20,000 pedestrians and 20,000 cyclists cross the Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Williamsburg bridges each day, and the bike boom over the East River bridges has been sustained since before the pandemic. Cycling traffic increased by 22.75% in July 2020 over July 2019, 55% in November 2020 over November 2019, and 27% in May 2021 over May 2019. Unfortunately, these bridges aren't designed for so many cyclists to cross safely.

The Manhattan-side bike path entrance on the Manhattan Bridge
The narrow two-way Manhattan Bridge bike path requires bikers to travel single file, even when it's busy.
The Brooklyn Bridge's new two-way bike path
The new Brooklyn Bridge bike lane is an improvement, but 8 feet isn't wide enough for a safe two-way lane.

Reallocating two car lanes each on the Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Williamsburg Bridges into protected space for cyclists would ensure the growing number of cyclists can safely cross and free up more space for pedestrians.

The Williamsburg Bridge's side by side bike and pedestrian spaces
The Williamsburg Bridge two-way bike path and pedestrian space. When either section is busy, people spill over onto the other side.
The Manhattan Bridge's pedestrian space with many cyclists riding through it
The two-way bike path on the Manhattan Bridge is so crowded that cyclists regularly end up on the narrow pedestrian path.

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The #Bridges4People Campaign is a project of the Transportation Alternatives Brooklyn, North Brooklyn, and Manhattan Activist committees.

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