The Brooklyn Bridge bike path is often so clogged with tourists that actually attempting to use it for its designated purpose can be an exercise in extreme futility. But while many bike commuters have simply given up on the bridge altogether, opting for the less crowded Manhattan bridge bike lane instead, it looks like one determined cyclist has found a way to make the Brooklyn Bridge work... through the power of song.
Cyclist Noam Osband says he usually avoids biking over the Brooklyn Bridge, because "the prettiest bit of construction in New York is usually a Hobbesian nightmare as pedestrians and cyclists try to share a path built in the 19th century." But on New Year's Eve, Osband "discovered the key to unlocking the madness." In a blog post on Daily O today, he explains:
I was in particularly good mood this New Year's Eve, having seen a great concert the night before, and instead of shouting like usual, I was so happy I just felt like singing. It was amazing; instead of tourists giving you stares of death, they broke into smiles of warmth. And more importantly, they moved out of the way.
Reached by email, Osband says that following his successful New Year's Eve experiment, he now sings his way over the bridge "pretty often. Unless I'm in a bad mood when I am occasionally not a singer but just an asshole who yells 'Get out of the bike lane.' But [singing] is so much more effective than yelling. That's the funniest part. It's like some biblical parable, where nice guys actually win but it's true. Best way to clear the lane."
He's also singing his way through other bike lanes. "It's like singing in the shower; why not?" Osband asks. "I mean, that's one of the things I love about New York, that you can be yourself anywhere. I'm often on the 2nd avenue bike lane loudly singing for fun."
Osband also says he didn't know he was being filmed until he spotted the video on Reddit and realized that his discovery had gone viral, as the kids say. Here's our less viral but still interesting video from last year documenting the harrowing experience of biking over the bridge without songs to save us.
Last summer the DOT announced a seven month-long study to see if expanding the Brooklyn Bridge bike path was feasible; one option reportedly under consideration is widening the existing promenade over the motor vehicle lanes below. The results of the study have yet to be made public. In the meantime, singing is free.