Get to know the Williamsburg Bridge

More and more people are discovering the wonders of riding over Williamsburg Bridge – and after using the bridge to get from Brooklyn to Manhattan almost every day for a week, we definitely understand why. Here is everything you need to know about getting from A to B using this iconic piece of Brooklyn history.

Text: Silje Strømmen
Photos: Mari Oshaug

We are going to let you in on a secret that is potentially life changing. What if we tell you that you can get from Williamsburg to Downtown Manhattan in 15 minutes? By helicopter you say? Train? Car? Boat? Oh no. All you need is a bike, and the Williamsburg Bridge will get you there. If you’re from New York this might be old news, but for the Bikevibe-crew, realising that you can move so easily between Brooklyn and Manhattan was a revelation. Not to mention the best thing; the view. Forget looking over New York from the backseat of a car or from the inside of a train cart. Take it all in by bike, and you will thank yourself, not only the slight exercise you will get – but also for the view you will get to take in first hand.

Williamsburg Bridge first opened in 1903 and hangs 41m above East River. With its total length of 2,227m it carries eight lanes of roadway, 2 tracks of the subway, pedestrians and bicycles.

In 2016, an average of 7,580 cyclists used the Williamsburg Bridge every day. That is a 13 % increase compared to 5 years ago, according to New York State Department of Transportation (DOT).

With the L-train shutdown (L train service across the East River is suspended for 18 months from January 2019 due to renovations), the government is expecting a substantial increase in bike ridership over Williamsburg Bridge. A series of improvements to increase safety and comforts while crossing the river has been proposed. We are excited to see even more people, New Yorkers as well as tourists, discover the wonders of the Williamsburg Bridge.

Source: DOT “Williamsburg Bridge access and connections” 2017