Jessica Mousseau is a copywriter & copy editor from the United States. Her work can be viewed at: www.jessicamousseau.com.
Published June 5th 2011
At the time it was built and opened, in 1883, the Brooklyn Bridge was the longest suspension bridge in the world. (The Akashi Kaikyō Bridge now holds that title). The Brooklyn Bridge has been designated a National Historic Landmark by the National Park Service, as well as being a designated New York City Landmark, courtesy of the Landmarks Preservation Commission.
The bridge's initial designer was John Augustus Roebling. This was not the first bridge he had designed, but it was the longest one. The bridge connects Manhattan with the borough of Brooklyn and runs across the East River. Its total length is 5,989 feet; it is 85 feet wide. OK, that's enough history. Let's talk about how you can enjoy this iconic landmark in New York City.
Where it is (in this case, it's how you can get on it)
The Manhattan side of the bridge is accessed by car from FDR Drive (in either direction), Park Row, Chambers and Centre Streets and Pearl and Frankfort Streets. If you're using the pedestrian walkway (the best way to see the bridge and the surrounding sites) you get on it at the end of Centre Street or by using the south staircase of the Brooklyn Bridge-City Hall IRT subway station.
If you're crossing over from Brooklyn, you do so by car from Tillary and Adams Streets, Sands and Pearl Streets, or Exit 28B of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, eastbound. To walk across from Brooklyn, you use the pedestrian access at Tillary and Adams Street (it's located between the entrance and exit for cars) or a staircase on Prospect Street between Cadman Plaza East and West.
How to get there
If you're driving, use any of the auto routes listed in the "where it is." section. If you're coming by subway from Manhattan, you want to get off at the Brooklyn Bridge-City Hall IRT subway station. In Brooklyn, you can either drive onto it from any of the streets listed in the "where it is." section or take the subway to the High Street on the A/C station. Feel free to ride your bicycle across the bridge. Bikers and walkers share the pedestrian walkway, so you're perfectly safe.
What to see
The cars whizzing past you (the pedestrian lane is in the center of the bridge, so you've got traffic on both sides of you). That's all right; you're protected by barriers and medians. Also, breathtaking views of the Statue of Liberty, boats, barges, ferries, and tugs on the East River, and the famous New York Skyline, just to name a few. When you get over to the Brooklyn side, you can visit Prospect Park and the other Brooklyn neighborhoods that are close to the Bridge. Please take time to do so, because this borough has an atmosphere all its very own.
What it costs
Walking or driving across the bridge is free; you only pay for the gas for your car or the public transportation fare. This is one of the most enjoyable free things to do in New York City, so take advantage of it.
Hi Jessica. You are right, this is a fantastic sight and walk. My last trip to New York, the kids, my wife and I decided to walk it from the Manhattan side. The views are spectacular of the New York Skyline and of course the continues flow of traffic both on the bridge and under it. Thanks for the reminder.
By Dan Berryman - senior reviewer Thursday, 6th of October @ 11:53 pm