Department of Transportation cuts Brooklyn Bridge locks

Brooklyn Bridge love-locks lopped

Brooklyn Daily
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LOVE LOST: A Department of Transportation worker grunts as he and a fellow employee cut some locks with bolt cutters in an effort to battle back the relentless mementos attached by couples seeking to memorialize their love.
NOT JUST FOR TOURISTS: Manhattan resident Katy Shoukry and her kids Skipper and Juliette have made a tradition of leaving locks on the iconic span.
LAST LOOK: Paula Roman took a scooter trip across the walkway and said the sullying of the structure has got to stop.
FORGET-ME-NOT: Graffiti persists along the length of the bridge.
BEFORE: Locks dangled from the street lamps over the Brooklyn Bridge roadway in May.
AFTER: But city crews lopped off the fasteners earlier this month.
BEFORE: The locks dangerously weigh down sections of railing, the city said.
AFTER: So it cut them down.
BEFORE: A lone lock dangled from a cable over the roadway last month.
AFTER: Lock-cutters got to it, too.
COMING BACK: Hopeless romantics are already bedecking the divider with locks once more.
HEART FROM ABOVE: The city say locks like this one could one day come crashing down onto motorists below.

Love doesn’t live here anymore.

The city went on a lock-cutting frenzy on the Brooklyn Bridge in the first week of June, clipping 4,000 so-called “love locks” left by tourists as mementos of their trip to New York and symbols of their undying love, according to a transportation department rep. The agency posted photos of crews cutting locks to its Facebook page and called on visitors to lock it off already.

“Our bridges division recently undertook a large-scale lock removal effort. We remind all visitors to the Brooklyn Bridge to refrain from attaching ‘love locks’ to the structure,” the post says.

The efforts came days before Parisian officials evacuated the famed Pont des Art bridge, which some credit with spawning the tradition, after a section of railing collapsed under the weight of thousands of the fasteners.

Roads honchos referenced the mishap in another Facebook post

“Let’s try to avoid the fate of the Pont des Arts here on the Brooklyn Bridge,” a city social-media minder wrote.

People strolling on the bridge on a recent Monday were split about the city’s crackdown on love-gripped vacationers.

Some felt sentimental about the security devices — and not just tourists.

“It’s a tradition for our family now,” said Katy Shoukry, a Manhattanite who was strolling across the span with her two kids. “It’s a nice way to solidify your memory on the bridge.”

Others say the iconic bridge doesn’t need any extra adornment.

“The Brooklyn Bridge is enough of an institution,” said Paula Roman, also of Manhattan. “You don’t have to leave your mark to enjoy it. The bridge is for everyone.”

The city has also complained about the increase in graffiti on the bridge, which frequently includes the authors’ Instagram handles. One out-of-towner we spoke to does not have a problem with the writing on the walls.

“I think it’s kind of cool, as long as it’s not offensive,” said Marcia Khalidi, visiting on her trip to New York from Kansas. “It’s becoming part of history.”

The city says that vandalism is vandalism, no matter what the tourists say.

“It is important for everybody to be aware of the fact that despite some social media and other reports to the contrary, placing graffiti on any portion of the bridge is ILLEGAL,” the department wrote. “Aside from the displeasing visual effect it generates, the NYC Department of Transportation currently spends millions of dollars each year removing graffiti in order to protect the bridge from corrosion.”

Reach reporter Matthew Perlman at (718) 260-8310. E-mail him at Follow him on Twitter @matthewjperlman.
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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