Yesterday we celebrated the unveiling of The Most Important Pedestrian Bridge Of Our Time, a bouncy zig-zag structure that connects Brooklyn Heights to Brooklyn Bridge Park. But during our inaugural tour, we were surprised to find that when it comes to convenience, the bridge's impact is negligible.
Yesterday we conducted a time trial to determine if taking the bridge from Brooklyn Heights was any faster than walking the usual way down Columbia Heights Street and doubling back through the park. In that first trial, competitive Gothamist publisher Jake Dobkin took the street route and beat Deputy Editor Jen Carlson to the bottom by a few seconds. Today, in the interest of accuracy, we dispatched another team to conduct a second test of the bridge using pedometers. WHAT WE FOUND MAY SHOCK YOU!
Both the new bridge route and the old street route are essentially the same distance to the same place: approximately a quarter of a mile. According to today's results, walking from the bottom of the bridge to Brooklyn Heights via the pedestrian bridge is still a bit slower than the streets, by about fifteen seconds. Here's video showing the both routes side-by-side:
Conclusion: both routes are almost exactly the same distance and take essentially the same time to traverse, depending on how fast you walk! (We await the Paper of Record's correction.) Still, it's a hell of a fun bridge! It bounces and reminds us of our idyllic childhood playing Pitfall in the basement. Totally worth $5 million.
To be fair, one of the bridge's great virtues is that it's handicap-accessible, which you can't quite say for the insanely steep Columbia Heights Street. As Brooklyn Bridge Park spokesperson Teresa Gonzalez points out, "Besides providing a dramatic descent to the waterfront, Squibb Bridge provides an additional access point into the park. As opposed to the steep sidewalk down Columbia Heights, it provides fully accessible entrances into both Pier 1 and Squibb Park. In addition, it allowed for the re-opening of Squibb Park."