The city is looking for ideas to fix the jam-packed promenade of the Brooklyn Bridge. City Council Speaker Corey Johnson and the Van Alen Institute on Tuesday launched a design competition seeking creative improvements to the 137-year-old structure’s narrow walkway, where thousands of pedestrians and cyclists fight for space each day. The overcrowded conditions have made the number of cyclists crossing the bridge drop to about 3,000 daily riders, compared to 3,600 two years prior, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Image via Flickr cc
America’s largest 4th of July fireworks show is getting ready to light up the New York sky; Macy’s 43rd annual Fourth of July live fireworks extravaganza happens next Thursday evening, and plans are being hatched to snag a spot at one of the city’s better viewing locations (or in front of a bigger screen; the show is being broadcast live from the Brooklyn Bridge) to watch the amazing choreography of pyrotechnics that will sail skyward from four barges stationed on the East River near Pier 17 at South Street Seaport and from the Brooklyn Bridge. The bridge will be a special focal point this year; expect dazzlingly intricate effects firing from more than a dozen points along the iconic NYC landmark throughout the 25-minute display, which will begin at around 9:20 P.M. The numbers behind the show are exactly as impressive as you’d expect.
Photo via PxHere
For avid runners and beginners alike, New York City offers a wide range of places to hit the pavement, from its iconic bridges to green trails nestled in the city’s parks. The scenic routes provide unbeatable views of the river and skyline that can keep you motivated to keep going when you’re ready to give up. Ahead, we round up the 10 most iconic spots to go for a run in the city, fit for regular marathoners, treadmill-devotees looking for a change of scenery, and total newbies.
Photo from the 2014 Brooklyn Bridge display, via Flickr cc
For the first time since 2014, Macy’s will move its Fourth of July fireworks to the Brooklyn Bridge, and this year’s display will “add three times more pyrotechnic firepower,” according to a press release, with more spectacular effects being set off across the entire bridge, as well as from four barges off the shore of the South Street Seaport District’s Pier 17. The 43rd annual event, the largest July 4th celebration in the nation, will see the launch of “tens of thousands of shells and effects.”
Drawing by a staff artist at Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper
On May 24, 1883, the Brooklyn Bridge officially opened, with roughly 1,800 vehicles and over 150,000 people crossing what was then the only passageway between Brooklyn and Manhattan. Less than a week later, 12 people were killed and over 35 others injured in a violent stampede.
On that fateful day, the bridge was brimming with people celebrating the Memorial Day holiday and checking out the new overpass, which was considered the longest bridge in the world at the time. A woman had tripped and fallen down the wooden stairs headed toward Manhattan, which caused another woman to scream. In a grand misinterpretation, a rumor was started that the bridge was about to collapse, sending the crowd into complete hysteria. Pedestrians ran to get off the bridge, stampeding their way to the entrance and pushing others to the ground.
135 years ago today, throngs of New Yorkers came to the Manhattan and Brooklyn waterfronts to celebrate the opening of what was then known as the New York and Brooklyn Bridge. 1,800 vehicles and 150,300 people total crossed what was then the only land passage between Brooklyn and Manhattan. The bridge–later dubbed the Brooklyn Bridge, a name that stuck–went on to become one of the most iconic landmarks in New York. But there’s been plenty of history, and secrets, along the way. Lesser known facts about the bridge include everything from hidden wine cellars to a parade of 21 elephants crossing in 1884. So for the Brooklyn Bridge’s 135th anniversary, 6sqft rounded up its top 10 most intriguing secrets.
Crossing the East River on the ice bridge (1871) via NYPL
While New York City is getting hit by a blast of arctic temperatures this week, New Yorkers of the mid- and late-1800s experienced even colder conditions. During the 19th century, the East River froze over at least seven times, shutting down the Brooklyn Bridge and preventing any ferries from crossing over. But, like today’s New Yorkers, the frozen river never stopped commuters from reaching their destinations. Instead of staying home, people would walk across the frozen East River, skating and slipping along their way.
Photo of the Brooklyn Bridge via pixabay
Dubbed the “Times Square in the Sky,” the Brooklyn Bridge promenade remains the borough’s most popular attraction, experiencing an increase in pedestrian volume by 275 percent between 2008 and 2015. The New York City Department of Transportation released a report on Friday that details ways to reduce the growing congestion of cyclists, pedestrians and vendors on the promenade. After hiring the consulting term AECOM over a year ago to conduct an engineering study aimed at improving safety, DOT has finally outlined steps to be taken in order to limit crowds. As the New York Times reported, the city is exploring ideas like building a separate bike-only entrance to the Manhattan side of the bridge, possibly expanding the width of the promenade and reducing the number of vendors allowed to sell goods, while restricting where they can sell them.
When repairs on the 133-year-old Brooklyn Bridge began in 2010, it was estimated that the massive project would cost about $508 million. Now, that estimate has hit $811 million–$200 million higher than estimates from as recent as last year and almost 60 percent higher than the original number, the New York Post reports.
If you’ve ever had the experience of nearly being flattened by something on foot or wheels while walking or biking across the Brooklyn Bridge on a weekend afternoon, try to survive a little bit longer, help may be on the way. City transportation officials announced Monday that plans were in the works to alleviate the pedestrian and bike traffic that threatens to become “Times Square in the Sky.” The New York Times reports that among the possibilities for the aging bridge is a new path to help reduce some of the current congestion.