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For $5M Brooklyn built a zig-zag bouncy bridge with “frisson”

For $5M Brooklyn built a zig-zag bouncy bridge with “frisson”

A $5 million, 400-foot pedestrian bridge recently unveiled in Brooklyn, NY, is turning into a blue vs. blue sparring match. Liberal site Gothamist’s negative review of the “bouncy zig-zag structure” is at odds with the positive reviews from the New York Times, which reported that it “provides an undeniable frisson of excitement, zigging and zagging some 50 feet above the ground.”

Gothamist: Race To The Top Of Squibb Park from Gothamist on Vimeo.

The bridge, a 3-year project, was conceived in  order to connect two already existing parks, adding another entrance. The bridge’s $5 million price was largely footed through the public’s tax dollars, spent by the Brooklyn president’s office and the City Council.

Gothamist wrote a series of bemused but pretty damning reviews of the $5m spend, including pointing out that the New York Times incorrectly reports that the bridge saves time over just plain walking between the two parks:

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.

One defender of the bridge from the Brooklyn Heights Blog created a video, referring to Gothamist’s  “some of the media have erroneously, in my humble opinion, focused on the functional with respect to this incredible bridge….walking on this bridge is an experience until itself. Both the unbelievable views and the bouncy sensation is what differentiates this path to the park from the old folk entrance.”

$5 million for a “bouncy sensation” and “undeniable frisson” — your government at work.


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They used to have “bouncy” bridge in Tacoma, WA; it didn’t end well.

Frisson, isn’t that what runs down chrissy mathew’s leg?

If the locals like the bridge, good for them—as long as I’m not paying for it. It’s their neighborhood.

Still, I’m curious about how much it would cost to put that bridge up outside NYC, say in Texas or elsewhere in flyover country.

Wasn’t that video sound track a copyright violation and when will Bennie Hill sue those naughty miscreants for using it. Shouldn’t they at least pay a small royalty fee to Mr. Bennie Hill to help ease his suffering whist in retirement.

Ps: He was a good man! 😉

Would that be the “undeniable frisson” of knowing that you are using the power of government [which is ultimately the threat of violence] to force ordinary people to spend their hard-earned money on your silly whims?

So many people in the “arts” community are, whether they admit it or not, proud thieves.

BannedbytheGuardian | March 24, 2013 at 4:55 pm

I gotta go for the bridge. Urban foot bridges are almost always pedestrian friendly & have great design possibilities. Streets are old school.

Suspension stuff is especially exciting. I think they should be everywhere. After all The london Bridge is in Arizona or somewhere.

The engineering in bridges is fascinating .

If I were American I would prefer a $5 million bridge anywhere in America than building one in Gaza etc. We used to say Timbuktu but the Islamists have wrecked it & i don”t want to fund anything muslim. Historic or not.

    Aside from the disagreement on the length of the route (an argument over trivia) this does not rise to the point of controversy.

    The neighborhood seems to like it, and I’d like to extend BtG’s point that the new bridge is pedestrian-friendly with the observation that this is a safer route than walking the street.

    The Gothamist writer spends much energy trying to make the route of the bridge look like a foolish or inefficient design, but if one traces the actual route, it follows a necessary path, given the topography of the area, and isn’t that much of a zig-zag. (Google Maps is your friend {g})

Hey, $5 million is pretty cheap!

Back here in Austin the city was contemplating an expansion of the South Lamar bridge that crosses Town Lake but many objections arose citing historical considerations. Now, mind you the Lamar bridge ain’t all that significant and could have been easily expanded to three lanes in each direction with generous pedestrian walkways as well.

But noooooooo, the democrat city council opted for building an adjacent pedestrian bridge that cost nearly $10 million and this was close to ten years ago. Worse, the Lamar bridge remains at two lanes in each direction so traffic didn’t get improved as well.

Ya jis gotta luv them thar’ idiot politicos…

    BannedbytheGuardian in reply to GrumpyOne. | March 24, 2013 at 6:10 pm

    Suicide prevention is an unsaid design factor. People throw themselves off when there are cars & pedestrian lanes & less so off exposed footbridges.

    To cut costs & prevent suicides , a spectacular bridge was
    built in Melbourne with no walkway. One morning a car stopped , the driver got out & took a child from the back seat & threw her over.

    So now murder & suicide s factored into design. :(.