Brooklyn Bridge gets a dedicated bike path

The new Brooklyn Bridge dedicated bike path opened Tuesday, getting cyclists off the elevated pedestrian path and making for what I would say is a less scenic but altogether much improved cycling route to Brooklyn.

It happens that we went to dinner in Fort Greene that first night and it was a big relief to be off the shared path. As much as I loved that route for its beauty, I would inevitably be a lot grumpier by the time I got to BK for all the yelling you had to do at tourists who wandered into the bike path with their cameras. However, the city will have to do some monitoring of the new path since what was clearly a moped charged past us at high speeds. (I also think it could use some better nighttime lighting.)

The bike path takes up the innermost western-bound car lane, leaving two lanes for cars. It’s narrow — only the width of one bike going in each direction, or what seems like 6 feet or so — but I think it will do the trick.

On the Manhattan side, the path integrates with Centre Street as you are coming off the bridge with a new two-way bike path in the center of the street that is protected up to Reade. The light at Chambers is timed to stop bikes while cars coming off the bridge make the left. North of Reade it splits around Foley Square.

On the Brooklyn side heading east, the path integrates with the former shared walkway/bikeway along the bridge access road before you hit Tillary, where it then branches in three directions.



  1. Any bets on whether some cyclists will still try to use the upper deck? And ignore the bike traffic lights at Chambers?

    • Any bets on whether some entitled jerk will shout down from their high horse about a non-issue? And ignore the fact that car traffic is wildly more dangerous than cyclists?

    • Nope on the upper level. Chambers Street lights? Maybe.
      Don’t be bitter. This is good news.

    • If it’s anything like the Manhattan Bridge, bikes, electric scooters, and even the occasional motorcycle will still use the pedestrian-only path. At least there’s the *potential* for enforcement since there’s always a police car parked at Tillary Street.

      • Any idea why there is a police car parked on Tillary Street? They don’t seem to be saying anything to the people on motorcycles on the bike path. Of course, there used to be mini police cars parked on both sides of the Brooklyn Bridge and I always wondered what they were doing. Several times I reported incidents to them and they barely looked up at me.
        The Manhattan Bridge baffles me too. They have a bike path clear on the other side and cyclists do not use it often enough. I sm guessing it’s because of the big hill leading up to it.

        • @JC: I have no idea what police car is doing on Tillary. They do NOTHING except socialize with each other. I walked over the bridge today, and realize it’s too far from where the bikes merge onto the old bike path so the cops won’t know. FWIW I saw a rat on the pedestrian path for the first time ever. But I digress. Today there were only two bikes, and no electric scooters, bikes or motorcycles.

          As for the Manhattan Bridge, *maybe* the hill explains cyclists on the pedestrian path, but not the e-bikes and scooters, and motorcycles.

          OTOH, I have a friend who cycles over the Manhattan Bridge and complains about pedestrians. ;-)

  2. This was definitely exciting on my morning run today. It was still a bit scary to be on the former cyclist’s side. There are always going to be people going the wrong way though, but I’ll take more room. I hope, with time, there will be better signage. There have been actual motorcycles and mopeds in the cyclist’s lane on top for far too long. It’s very dangerous and the police at the end of the bridge, not sure why they are even there. It will probably remain a problem in this new bike lane and on top. Either way, happy they are trying. This has been part of my running route for many years.

  3. Bike paths throughout the city have electric vehicles- scooters, bikes, mopeds speeding on them without any rule enforcement. Electric vehicles must be registered and held accountable to road rules. Building bike paths while not addressing fundamental safety issues makes the roads, paths and city streets more stressful and dangerous for all.

    • Absolutely right, K. I don’t mind so much the electric Citi bikes, they can’t go that fast, but the delivery bikes go so fast. If there were to be a collision, somebody would be really hurt or killed.

  4. This is good news however like K states there needs to be some enforcement for e-vehicles. The city has become the Wild West for cyclists, pedestrians and drivers since e-vehicles have come onto the streets and bridges (not including Citibike’s e version).
    The police and their scooters seem to take up room on the Brooklyn Bridge. And the people wandering into the bike lanes! There is no police presence on the Williamsburg bridge and I have seen a few e-vehicles ignore the signage.
    I love this city and this is good news but this situation is crazy – I’m surprised there haven’t been more accidents. When it comes to signage overall its not the city’s strong point either.