Department of Transportation cuts Brooklyn Bridge locks

Brooklyn Bridge love-locks lopped

The Brooklyn Paper
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Photo gallery

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 they were not all 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 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 people marking the moment by 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 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

DOT Employee from Sunset Park says:
The first photo caption refers to two workers as "Department of Transportation grunts". Incredibly disrespectful. This is why Brooklyn Paper will always be a third-rate rag. Whoever approved that caption should be disciplined.
June 18, 2014, 4:43 am
freddy from slope says:

Literacy not a DOT Employee strong suit, huh?
June 18, 2014, 8:07 am
Dave from Brooklyn Heights says:
Good riddance to bad rubbish. Now please work on the graffiti.
June 18, 2014, 9:42 am
Nick M. from Brooklyn Heights says:
They cut the locks off while people are walking past. Many people have been hit by the sparks. I find the whole situation dangerous and annoying starting with the tourists and their ridiculous behavior.
June 18, 2014, 9:50 am
sajh from brooklyn heights says:
Why cant the city employ one or two people to patrol the bridge and give citations to anyone that defaces the bridge. I am sure the threat of a fine will keep most people from doing this. And if not at least the revenue from the fines would fund the maintenance costs for the removal of graffiti and locks.
I bet you could get volunteers to do this no less. You could have those persons not only give citations but remind people to stay to one side so there arent any mishaps between cyclists and pedestrians.
June 18, 2014, 10:07 am
Locks of Love from Sunset Park says:
Hey DOT Employee,

You're not a grunt? What's your degree in? Trade?

June 18, 2014, 10:10 am
Me from Bay Ridge says:
That was rude.
June 18, 2014, 6:51 pm
Or from Yellow Hook says:
Of course they are grunts. They aren't baristas or artistis or roof top farmers, they have a real job, that involves labor.

The paper doesn't recognize real work, and looks down on it.
June 19, 2014, 6:32 am
tsarina from Crown Heights says:
Please work on Reading comprehension. " A Department of Transportation worker grunts as he and a fellow employee cut some locks with bolt cutters ". Grunts describes what the DOT worker is doing, NOT what he is. You owe the paper an apology!
Brooklyn bridge is an icon and doesnt need anyones name on it or stupid lock. If you need to commemorate something, get a tattoo and then you will be the only one who needs to deal it.
June 19, 2014, 7:16 am
no-permits says:
tsarina, the author changed the working. it did say DOT grunts.
June 19, 2014, 7:55 am
no-permits says:
June 19, 2014, 7:55 am
Oliver from Sunset Park says:
When did they change the wording? Because when I read this yesterday morning, it was already worded the way that tsarina quotes, which is well before many of these comments were made.
June 19, 2014, 9:40 am
Bruce says:
A section of the railing did not collapse on the Pont des Arts...part of the chain link fence attached to the railing did, there was no structural damage to the bridge whatsoever...
June 19, 2014, 10:48 am
JAY from NYC says:
in the civilian world a grunt is defined as an unskilled worker. I don't know if these guys are unskilled or if they are skilled tradesmen, maybe BP should look into that to see if they defamed these guys or not and need to print a retraction.
As an aside, in the military being called a grunt is a compliment. The opposite of a grunt is POG (person other than grunt,) {which also has a double meaning of piece of garbage} is an insult.
June 19, 2014, 9:12 pm
Tyshawn from Compton says:
And all along I thought a G'Runt was a gangsta rapper midget.
June 19, 2014, 10:07 pm

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