Brooklyn bridge bike lane
Bikes win lanes on infamous Brooklyn Bridge

The New York horror show for bike riders crossing Brooklyn Bridge to and from Manhattan on a bike could finally be at an end.

In a dramatic stroke—even for New York City—cars will be banned from a traffic lane that will be converted into a protected bike lane.

And it doesn’t end there: similar measures will be taken on another key route, the Queensboro Bridge.

The Brooklyn to Manhattan route is one of the most important connections for riders in the metropolis, yet it is the worst provided for.

Currently riders must play dodgem with hoards of pedestrians and gawking tourists on a shared pathway perched in the top deck of the bridge.

This is what getting over the bridge is like now:

According to the Mayors Office, cars will disappear from the innermost lane of the Manhattan-bound side to transform it into a two-way protected bike lane.

The existing shared promenade will become space into a space just for pedestrians.

On the Queensboro Bridge, the north outer roadway will be converted into a two-way bike-only lane and the south outer roadway converted to a two-way pedestrians-only lane.

As a sign of how the world has changed in recent years, the sky failed to fall in after the announcement.

Who can forget the wailing and gnashing of teeth that followed the decision not that long ago by the City of Melbourne to convert a traffic lane to a bike lane on that city’s Princes Bridge.

The Big Apple has gone to great effort and expense to transform the famously congested city for bike riders – installing over 195km of protected bike lanes in recent years. New York has plans to create a network of more than 2200 kilometres bike lanes. 

In just the last year bike trips into Manhattan over the East River bridges have risen by 55 per cent.

The Brooklyn Bridge opened in 1883 and runs between Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn. The Queensboro Bridge runs between Midtown Manhattan and Queens and opened in 1909.

New Yorks top transportation official, Polly Trottenberg, has recently joined the Biden administration, so riders in the US have high hopes of further improvements across the country.

This article was made possible by the support of Bicycle Network's members who enable us to make bike riding better in Australia.