Getting Mighty Crowded: Is Brooklyn Bridge Park Too Popular? [VIDEO]

Our Karl Junkersfeld files a new video report asking if Brooklyn Bridge Park is becoming too popular. Or as Yogi Berra might have said “nobody goes there anymore it’s too crowded.”

Watch and weigh in with your thoughts now!

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  • Karl Junkersfeld

    Crowded now, if one considers the many other parts of the park that are nearing completion or in the planning stages such as John Street Condos/Rentals, Empire Stores, Tobacco Warehouse Theater, Walentas Water Street Condos, Pier 2, the Beach on Pier 3, Completion of Pier 6, Additional Condos on Pier 6, Pier 3 (funding only a matter of time) etc, you can imagine the increased traffic flow in Brooklyn Bridge Park. Let’s not forget, the Pier 6 playground and Pop-UP pool will be opening soon. Again, I wonder, can a park be too enticing?

  • morning coffee

    Important investigative work! Huzzah!

    Makes my heart so happy that my neighbors love the park and make it part of their lives.

    But yes, we need to be extremely careful in planning the development ahead.

    Every inch of this park is precious (only 85!!! acres, compare to Prospect Park’s 585)

    Save Pier 6 — no lux condo — skyscraper — not-in-our-park!

  • ltap917

    How many neighbors are really using the park? People are traveling from all over Brooklyn and Manhattan to use this park. It’s not a neighborhood park. It’s a public city park.

  • Becky

    i live in the heights and get down to the park as often as I can. It’s a wonderful resource to have on one’s doorstep and I suspect it will eventually be able to be both a great neighborhood and a city park – once the novelty factor has worn off ever so slightly. I love it, crowded or not.

  • TeddyNYC

    I know quite a few people in the neighborhood who are now avoiding BBP on the weekend. It looks like things will only get worse. On top of that, the north side of Atlantic Ave. gets really crowded as well.

  • BrooklynCoffeeLover

    I go to the park about 6-7 days a week. I run there each morning and we try to hit up Smorgusburg as well. Yes, it was crowded yesterday, but I knew it was going into it so it didn’t really matter.

  • miriamcb

    I live in BKHeights and am in the park every day with my daughter. We see many other neighbors in the park going for walks, runs and bicycle rides. The little parks near Pier 5 are usually filled with kids and parents during the week too.

  • miriamcb

    The worst of it this weekend was that the tar was terrible. We ruined our shoes (even tried WD40 on our soles) because it was so sticky.

  • Robert Grande

    What’s really frustrating is the presence of Smorgasburg. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy picking up a few culinary delights from there just like most, but why does it need to be located in what’s supposed to be a park? The novelty of Smorgasburg, for me and for most locals i speak to, has worn off. Must it be there EVERY SUNDAY UNTIL NOVEMBER? Its completely over-doing it. Unnecessary. It draws far too many people to the area who need not be there. Can’t run, can’t walk, and kids can barely bike. Is BBP a park or a public space? Its really hard to enjoy a Sunday in a supposed ‘park’.

  • ujh

    Karl, great update and a good opportunity to see it all at once! Yes, BBP has gotten overcrowded on weekends, days when local residents should avoid it except early in the morning and in the evening, but that was already the case last year. Many joggers and runners use the park before 8 a.m. and after dark.
    I hope the park administration will mitigate the path surface; it might be temporary as there are no tar-surfaces elsewhere in the park.
    I also expect Smorgasburg to be temporary while the upland portion of Pier 5 is unfinished. It brings in concessionaires’ fees.

  • C.

    Funny this was just posted. I went yesterday and made a mental note to avoid the park on the weekends going forward. Just way too many people.

  • Joe A

    It draws far too many people to the area who need not be there.

    So the fact the people are enjoying a public park bothers you? I guess you thought the park was for Brooklyn Heights residents only. How adorable.

  • wksnyc

    I dread the park on weekends. Especially on Sunday. Image what it will be like when Pierhouse is completed and then the 2 new towers at Pier 6? Fugetaboutit. Hopefully the Pier 6 housing doesn’t move forward. On the bright side, Governor’s Island will be opening soon – weekdays too – which might help.

  • StoptheChop

    BBP is a “destination park” for locals, New Yorkers and tourists. It’s also a public resource that’s required to fund itself through events (Smorgasburg, Hip-Hop Festival, other corporate sponsored events) and capital projects (apartments, hotel, shopping mall/office complex) within the park boundaries. Yes, the congestion from people, cars (especially at Pier 5, which doesn’t have a pick up/drop off area) and tour buses is increasingly out of control, but given the funding pressures and DeBlasio’s adoption of this Blommbergian park “model”, it’s unclear whether the Brooklyn Bridge Park Development Corporation or the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy can or want to do anything to mitigate it. The completion of Pierhouse and the Empire Stores (“complemented” by the Walentas 17-story highrise next to the Brooklyn Bridge and looming over Empire Stores), which will add to congestion at the northern end of BBP, coupled with the controversy over the proposed highrises at Pier 6 (including the 31-story skyscraper), should lead to a clear-eyed assessment of the Bloomberg-era 2005 Master Plan and of current BBP usage, but that will only happen if the community and other New Yorkers start to advocate for it, loudly and often.

  • Heights Observer

    I din’t think that he implied that the park belonged to Brooklyn Heights residents at all. I think he was pointing out the fact that the park really is no place for such a large concentration of food vendors. It’s a park not a San “Generic” street fair!

  • Daddyo

    The Brooklyn Bridge is overcrowded on weekends, too. Grand Central is packed mornings and evenings. And have you been to MSG or Yankee Stadium during playoffs? It’s crazy. There are lots of nice parks and neighborhoods in quieter, less crowded places like Omaha or Salt Lake City. Been to Central Park on a nice Sunday? Get over it, you live in New York City. Hey, let’s kick the tourists out and turn the piers back to Stroeber Building Supplies…

  • Moni

    Those of us who live in the Hgts are already lucky and privileged to enjoy what is arguably the loveliest neighborhood in NYC. But why should the BBP be mainly for us? it’s a public park, for the PUBLIC to enjoy, and certainly one of the better things Bloomberg did for the City. That said, it’s a disgrace that so much private development of condos is going on, and that should indeed be stopped. However, I think it’s great that the park is so poular and maybe it will cut down the traffic on the promenade (a selfish little bonus).

  • Princess

    We love the park! But a few weeks ago tried to visit the food court and it was SO crowded that we turned right around left. What are ya gonna do? :(

  • Jorale-man

    I’m avoiding the park now on weekends too. But what worries me is the overcrowding will take such a toll that even on a weeknight it will start to look worn and dirty (notice the already overflowing trash cans on Joralemon St). Hopefully the maintenance crews are ready for that eventuality.

  • Banet

    Karl, while there’s certainly a tremendous amount of new development coming around the park (let’s not forget whatever new housing that will inevitably be built at LICH) you can’t count the rest of Pier 6, Pier 3 and Pier 2 as part of the problem. That’s all new acreage to alleviate the crowd, not add to it. That is, unless you were referring to specific choke points such as Joralemon Street or the intra-park pathways.

  • Karl Junkersfeld

    The overall point I was trying to make is that on Sundays, the park exceeds its carrying capacity and that locals should visit on the other 6 days. The new space will just be absorbed with additional visitors on Sundays in my opinion. Note: I love the park and welcome all visitors.

    There have been 5 major changes to the Heights in the last 200 years that changed life as residents knew it. The steam ferry in 1814, Brooklyn Bridge in 1883, the subway in 1908, the promenade in 1950/51 and now Brooklyn Bridge Park and the new development it has generated in the surrounding area. The Heights/DUMBO area is exploding in new development and I hope the powers that be are cognizant of the major disruption this has caused in the lives of many residents in the community. Personally, I have chosen to embrace it rather than having it run over me but the pace has been alarming.

  • Earl of Clinton

    Agreed, Robert — Smorgasburg should be moved back to the more “commercial” areas at the north end of the park if it’s going to happen in the park at all. Hopefully once the northern end of the park is renovated it moves back and the pleasant, placid southern end of the park can be left as it should be for the future.

  • Earl of Clinton

    I wish they’d make the road through Pier 5 into a 2-lane 1-way street from the bus loop to Furman.

  • Jorale-man

    The master plan for the Smorgasburg lot has a berm there with grass and trees, but it’s still unfunded, which means it may be a few years away.

    This seems to suggest a disturbing trend with BBP’s management: they’re not happy to let the park live as a quiet, contemplative place. There needs to be a constant buzz of activity in ever corner – concerts, sports, food sales, movies, readings. Don’t get me wrong, I like all of those things in their proper place. But it would be nice to feel like a park can just be a place to relax or toss a frisbee too.

  • Earl of Clinton

    Thanks for the motivation to volunteer, Jorale-man… let’s get that Pier 5 uplands fundraiser going ASAP! (What’s that you say? It’s more complicated than that?)

  • Karl Junkersfeld

    Celebrate Brooklyn and Brooklyn Bridge Park are presenting the Electro-Jamz Dance Party tonight on Pier 1, so check it out. Also, found this wonderful film on BBP produced by the BBP Conservancy that somehow eluded my constant research for all things Brooklyn Bridge Park. It is an excellent film.

  • gatornyc

    Pier 5 is funded. The plans are being prepared and construction will probably start by next spring.

  • Karl Junkersfeld

    gatomyc, Pier 5 is the soccer fields, do you mean Pier 3 which is currently an empty Pier?

  • Brixtony

    It’s disappointing to read some of these comments. The whining nimby-ism verges on the disgusting to me. I love the park and prefer it when I can pretend it’s my own private domain – like in the dead of winter – but it’s a public park. I go there with my dog regularly and also go to Smorgasburg on many Sundays. Despite the awful buildings that are coming, I think it’s great that it attracts people from out of the nabe as well as tourists. It’s something to be proud of as a long-time Brooklyn resident and all I can say to those who don’t like the crowds is: Don’t come – then there will be more room for the rest of us.

  • OpenGreenLove

    The city is over run by developers who have no vision or sense of beauty and no value of space that isn’t generating money. Even in the middle of a supposed park. It’s fine for a park to have income sources but the line should stop at what is appropriate for the mission of the park as a place that provides an open space and recreation. Not a theme park.