The Great Bridge envisions a future that elevates people over automobiles, reclaims and entangled by roads and ramps for civic use in the form of parks, museums, local commerce, recreation and housing, and makes the bridge more accessible to adjacent communities. The upper deck expansion becomes a planted promenade with lanes for tourists and commuters, while the lower deck features six traffic lanes reduced to two for trolleys and emergency vehicles, with the remainder dedicated to public use, including dedicated bike lanes and planters. Collectively, these measures will yield an experience that is more accessible, safe, democratic and enjoyable for all.
Brooklyn Bridge was conceived as a civic gesture, a connection to Manhattan and opportunity, and joined teeming streets that functioned simultaneously as thoroughfares, markets, promenades and playgrounds before it was largely overtaken by the ascendance of the automobile. This concept will disentangle the infrastructural knots that currently encumber it and will restore the grandeur of its original design and herald the return of the trolley.
Removal of the ramps will open land repurposed to provide greater access to and appreciation of the bridge, engagement with the forgotten vaulted spaces beneath it, and development of vital civic spaces around it. These transformations can revive the aspirations of the bridge’s creators by providing opportunity to future generations of New Yorkers.