On July 20, 2023, Gothamist published a report titled Trucks keep getting stuck on the Brooklyn Bridge, causing gridlock on BQE. The story reminded me of one time I saw a truck causing gridlock on the Brooklyn Bridge’s pedestrian walkway.

2019 photograph of a small NYC DOT pick up full with bags of trash on the pedestrian walkway of the Brooklyn Bridge between the two Manhattan exits.

To call this New York City Department of Transportation putt putt pickup a truck may be a stretch, but let us wave away technicalities. I took the above photo with the camera with my BlackBerry Classic on April 12, 2019. I remember thinking you have to be kidding me when I saw it awkwardly trying to drive down the pedestrian walkway in the middle of the day. Note that the pedestrian walkway was still split between pedestrians and bicycles on 2019, making the Bridge cramped even under ideal conditions. It was only in 2021 that the bikes were cast off the pedestrian walkway, which improved matters notwithstanding a deluge of illegal food stands, tourist junk stands, drug dealers, and other examples of general unpleasantness (all of which detract from its former magisterial dignity). Yet notwithstanding the Bridge’s current roomy configuration, I would still caution the Department of Transportation against sending the trash pick-up pickup in the daytime.

(Note: While I am not volunteering for trash pick-up duty, let no one say that I am unwilling to help a trash can in need.)