Spring is here, and with it comes a rising tide of tourists on the Brooklyn Bridge, which is also crowded with bike riders trying to get over the East River. The two factions have been at odds for ages, and with an increased number of cyclists citywide, the fight for space has never been more bitter. The problem is that tourists and other pedestrians have a tendency to disregard the painted bike lane on the bridge, sometimes wandering into the lane without warning. And bikers sometimes ride like maniacs. "It's not even enjoyable because I'm worried I'm going to run into a small child or another bike," one cyclist tells the Daily News. "The whole time I'm saying, 'Excuse me, it's a bike lane.'"
The News spent the day assessing the situation on the bridge, which, unlike the nearby Manhattan Bridge, doesn't physically separate pedestrians from bikers. The DOT repainted the bike lane last year and added more signs, but the problem is intractable. "The 'lungers' are the worst," says another bike ride. "They see something, and they take their cameras and run across." Some tourists told the tabloid they didn't even notice the signs, distracted as they were by the views.
And at least once cyclist was willing to show a little tolerance for non-cyclists. 62-year-old Boerum Hill resident Mort Starobin said, "The bikers think they own it. You have bikes going 20, 30 miles an hour with no bells. They should make a sign that says 'Be Nice to Tourists.'"