NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Some have called it ‘Times Square in the sky,’ the Brooklyn Bridge draws big crowds — maybe too big — and now the city is looking to combat overcrowding on the iconic landmark with a fresh facelift.
Ask anyone who used the pedestrian and bike paths on the bridge, and they’ll tell you it can get a little hairy up there.
“I seen a few people hit by bikes. It gets very crowded, yeah,” Sophie Feldman told CBS2’s Scott Rapoport.
The narrow lanes, hordes of people — 10,000 pedestrians on an average weekday — and 3,500 bikes a day can make things too close for comfort.
“I don’t bring my kids up here in the summer, I worry about them getting run over by a bike or something,” Nicole Margalit said.
Now, there’s word of ideas to expand the pedestrian and bike promenade over the bridge.
“It’s, take a fresh look at what the next generation of the Brooklyn Bridge will look like,” NYC DOT Commissioner, Polly Trottenberg said.
Trottenberg said the city is commissioning a $370,000, seven-month study that explores expansions to the promenade, with less congestion in mind, WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell reported.
Renderings show potential widening and expansion points over the length of the bridge, including possible expansion over the bridge’s girders.
There will be one fundamental challenge.
“Is the engineering feasible? Can we find a way the bridge can accommodate the weight for the design,” Trottenberg said.
Nothing is set in stone. Results from the study will be available sometime next year. Trottenberg would not offer any estimate or insight on what a project like this might cost.
Bikers said the change would be welcome.
“They ought to make the bike lanes a little wider compared to the pedestrian lanes, that’s for sure,” tony Johnstone said.
Trottenberg said the historic bridge is 133 years old, and any proposed changes would require coordination with the city’s Landmark and Preservation Commission. She said those agencies are already working together.