Eyes on the Street: Gravelly Bike-Ped Path Through Brooklyn Bridge Park

Construction.JPGConstruction is still underway, but the bike-ped path through Brooklyn Bridge Park is open. Photo: Noah Kazis

A vital link in the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway is open, as a path through Brooklyn Bridge Park for pedestrians and cyclists nears completion. Though the park is still far from complete, the path cuts straight through the construction, connecting Pier 1, just below the Brooklyn Bridge itself, and Pier 6, at Atlantic Avenue. 

One thing you should know about the path: It's covered with a thin layer of gravel. It isn't deep or loose, but it will definitely add a new element to your ride. "I don't know if it's the ideal surface for every biker, but we've been open for a week now and haven't had any complaints," said Ellen Ryan of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation, noting that plenty of cyclists have already ridden the path. This type of surface, known as "chip seal," is planned for the entire park and was chosen for its durability, cost-effectiveness, and aesthetic qualities, she explained. 

Toward the south end of the park, the path turns into a short, two-way on-street bikeway on Furman Street, separated from traffic by jersey barriers. For cyclists heading to the Brooklyn or Manhattan Bridge, the gravelly path through the park probably won't be as attractive as continuing straight on Furman, with its smoother surface and shorter route. As things stand, however, that would take them into the path of oncoming traffic:

Furman_bike_lane5.jpgThe end of the bikeway on Furman Street, where the path takes a turn into Brooklyn Bridge Park. Straight ahead is the Brooklyn Bridge. Photo: Dave "Paco" Abraham

More pictures after the jump: 

Path_Close_Up.JPGThe surface of the path is covered with gravel, thin enough that the asphalt below shows through in places. Brick strips add another set of bumps. Photo: Noah Kazis
North_End_of_Path.JPGAt the northern end of the park, the bike path exits onto a shared lane leading toward the bridge approaches. Photo: Noah Kazis