If the enthusiasm of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg is
any indication, tourists and residents may soon be
able to scale the majestic heights of the Brooklyn
Bridge but for a fee.
"The Brooklyn Bridge is history, there's a great
view and it would be exciting," Mr. Bloomberg said of
a proposal by an Australian company to lead packs of
explorers up the bridge, just as it does with a bridge
in Sydney. "I think it would be a wonderful thing to
try why not?"
Down under, intrepid tourists outfitted in special
suits that harness them to a static line can climb to
the top of Sydney Harbor Bridge for a about $125,
according to a spokeswoman for NYC & Company, the
city's tourist board.
Cristyne L. Nicholas, president and chief executive
of the board, said that she had originally met with
the Sydney operator, Bridgeclimb, in late 2000 to
discuss something similar in New York, but that the
events of Sept. 11 had stymied their progress.
But she said she recently included the idea in a
grant proposal submitted to the Lower Manhattan
Development Corporation for federal marketing funds to
stimulate tourism downtown.
"Anyone who's been to Sydney knows about
Bridgeclimb and most likely thinks it's a fantastic
idea," she said yesterday.
Mr. Bloomberg, who undertook the Sydney bridge
climb with his older daughter, Emma, described it as
thrilling, though a little scary, and dismissed safety
concerns about the plan, which was first reported
yesterday in The New York Post.
In his description of his Sydney experience, he
said climbers cannot remove the belt or the cable that
secures them to the bridge. "What are you going to
do?" Mr. Bloomberg asked rhetorically. "You can't
jump, you can't carry anything with you; what's the
Michael P. O'Looney, the Police Department's chief
spokesman, said the department would do a full
background check on the company and examine the
potential impact on traffic. "Our main concern is the
public's safety," he said, "but we are optimistic it
could become a reality."
City officials could not offer a timetable
yesterday, but Jennifer Falk, a Bloomberg spokeswoman,
said the administration was working with the tourist
board and the company to bring climbers to the bridge
as soon as possible.