Footbridge to the future?

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Governor’s island. Photo:

Here’s an idea: a new bridge in New York, to add to our 2,000. It’s called … New Bridge. Only bikes and feet allowed, and it would connect Governors Island and Lower Manhattan.

The ferries to Governors Island–the only way to reach the 172 acres in Upper New York Bay–are frequently crowded, which is a  problem both in terms of safety and efficiency. Also, now that ferries have stopped for the season, the next boat won’t leave til May. If a bridge existed, New Yorkers could access the island any time by foot or two wheels.

This is precisely what Mark Vanhoenacker proposes in his recent Op-Ed in the Times. To critics of such a bridge, worried about the loss of a small, idyllic, elite patch of green, he says, “New Yorkers don’t need a Nantucket; they need easy access to public green spaces.”

Indeed. How much would it cost us, though? According to Vanhoenacker, “a cable-stayed New Bridge would run around $300 million to $350 million. Who’s going to pay for that?” He asks. His idea: “Why not Mr. Bloomberg?”

Meanwhile the mayor himself is now pouring his dollars into a climate change-based risk assessment initiative with his new project, “Risky Business.”