In New York, the famous Brooklyn Bridge will receive a facelift. The structure, opened in 1883 to link the boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn, is no longer adapted to the mobility of New Yorkers. Since the emergence of the coronavirus epidemic, many residents of the “big apple” have preferred to travel by bicycle rather than by metro. And the bridge often finds itself crowded. Traffic is currently on two levels: one for cyclists and pedestrians, considered too small, and the other for motorists.
As the British daily reports The Guardian, the New York City Council launched an architectural design competition earlier this year to adapt the structure to the modern United States. New Yorkers will be invited to vote next week for one of the six selected projects. One of them plans to phase out lanes reserved for cars and replace them with a pedestrian lane. Another advocates the creation of a wooden footbridge, with “microforests” placed at each end of the bridge. A third finalist wants to make part of the level currently dedicated to motorists available to cyclists, and to replace one of the roadways with a space for trains. The projects can be discovered on the website of the architectural firm Van Halen.
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16,500 pedestrians per day
About 16,500 pedestrians crossed the Brooklyn Bridge every day in 2019, and the number of cyclists has doubled in the past decade, explains The Guardian. The crosswalks above the traffic lanes are particularly narrow – cyclists often have to zigzag to make their way between tourists. Physical distancing is also virtually impossible to enforce. “For too long, the Brooklyn Bridge has been more about car traffic than walking and cycling,” says Regina Myer, president of the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership. “This competition is a unique opportunity to rethink this balance, when the city desperately needs to expand its public space. “
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