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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