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More than 20,000 pedestrians and 19,000 cyclists currently cross the Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Williamsburg bridges each day, and cycling traffic on the East River bridges increased by 22.75% in July 2020 over July 2019 and 55% in November 2020 over November 2019. As New York City reopens, even more pedestrians and cyclists will be crossing the bridges.

Photo of 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.
Photo of the Brooklyn Bridge's narrow shared bike and pedestrian space
Pedestrians and cyclists share a narrow path on the Brooklyn Bridge, and even at off peak times, physical distancing isn't possible.

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.

Photo of 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.
Photo of the Manhattan Bridge's pedestrian space with many cyclists riding through it
The two-way bike path on the Manhattan Bridge is busy enough 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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