It’s no secret the Brooklyn Bridge promenade can get crowded, as even on rainy days tourists gather to walk on the iconic span while city residents use it to get to and from work, rather than rely on sometimes-spotty subway service.
In an effort to address the overcrowded walking and biking area, the city is reaching out to the public for ideas on how to improve it so pedestrians and cyclists, locals and visitors alike won’t have to literally be rubbing elbows to navigate it.
“It’s one of the most iconic spots in the city of New York, but it’s also become dangerous,” said New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson. The city will work with the Van Alen Institute to rethink the space, and all ideas are welcome, from people of all ages.
“The Brooklyn Bridge is one of New York’s most recognizable landmarks, and holds a special place in our collective imagination,” the project’s website reads. “But that iconic status comes at a cost. At peak hours, the promenade is crammed, uncomfortable, and sometimes unsafe.”
The search will be for creative and out-of-the-box designs that will be beneficial for everyone, and organizers are hoping for ideas to pour in from all over the globe.
“Sometimes it’s good to get a fresh set of eyes, an outside group that has no skin in the game,” said Johnson. “And last thing is — put a youth component, young people have input.”
The website says that six finalists — three at least 22 years old, three 21 years old or younger — will be chosen and given cash prizes for their ideas. Those proposals will be chosen by a panel, then the public will be able to vote for their favorite as well.
The site lists team composition, accessibility and safety, environmental benefit and security, respect for the bridge’s landmark status, feasibility and “magic” as factors for deciding which proposals win.
Ideas are due on April 5th, and winners are set to be announced over the summer.