The trend of lovebirds affixing padlocks to Brooklyn’s scenic bridges has spread to a decidedly un-picturesque pedestrian bridge over the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway in Carroll Gardens.
One romance expert who has long railed against the so-called “love lock” fad suggested that sweethearts swooning in the cloud of freeway exhaust would do better to mark their bond with actual criminal activity.
“I don’t think it’s a good way to show your love,” said Dave Colon, editor of the website Brokelyn, who has long used his platform to attack the practice. “If you want to vandalize something, go whole hog and carve your name in it or something.”
About two dozen of the locks hung from the chain-link of the overpass between Monsignor Delviccio Place and Summit Street on March 12. Some had been there long enough to have rusted thoroughly.
Lovers and haters of the locks may argue over their merit as a symbol of undying commitment, but to road officials, the mementos pose a hazard. When Department of Transportation workers took to the Brooklyn Bridge last summer to take down legions of the locks, the agency warned couples that the devices threaten the span’s structural integrity, and motorists passing below. A department spokeswoman reiterated the agency’s stance last week.
“DOT discourages people from leaving locks or any other objects on any of our bridges, as doing so can pose a danger to the structure,” she said.
Some argue the practice is an import from Paris, where the problem is so pernicious that the City of Love’s tourism website once pleaded for visitors to find other ways to express their everlasting romance, and workers had to remove sections of a footbridge’s railing because it was in danger of collapsing under the locks’ weight. Last summer, the tourist-embraced trend took hold on the Manhattan and Williamsburg bridges, and as far afield as Prospect Park.
Despite the strong feelings the fasteners engender in some, most passersby we quizzed on the bridge couldn’t give a hoot what people do with their padlocks.
“If people want to do it, I guess it’s okay,” Carroll Gardens resident Paul Cerato said.