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.”