I walked across the Brooklyn Bridge for the first time since New York City evicted all of the vendors and panhandlers a few weeks ago. I fully supported clearing the Bridge for pedestrians just like I previously supported removing the bike lane from the walkway. However, I was skeptical that New York City would follow through. I can happily report that I saw no vendors or stands on my two walks across the Brooklyn Bridge on the afternoon of February 6, 2024. Despite having a decent number of pedestrians, both walks were easy and painless (save for the one guy twirling around with his “selfie stick”). Moreover, I only saw one illegal bike on the Bridge. There were a few cops (first time I have seen cops on the Bridge since early 2020), so that may also be helping.
While I did not take pictures of the walkway, you can see the Manhattan skyline and Freedom Tower from what is close to the Manhattan off-ramp at about 1:40 PM.