By Gabe Friedman/(JTA) – New York City’s Department of Transportation (DOT) does not want you leaving locks on the Brooklyn Bridge. But eating a big bagel with lox and cream cheese? That is strongly encouraged. A new sign that popped up on the heavily trafficked bridge in October, complete with a bagel image, reads “NO LOCKS YES LOX.” The sign is meant to discourage people from leaving so-called “love locks” on the bridge as a symbol of affection. The practice is also common in European cities like Paris and Rome, but it can weigh down bridges and cause damage. Recently, locks on the Brooklyn Bridge caused a wire holding to snap, leading to hours of repairs and traffic delays. Violators can be fined.
The “yes lox” sign – a big hit on social media – features a photo of an everything bagel from Leo’s Bagels in near the DOT offices. “We did regulatory signs and then [city officials] wanted something a little more whimsical,” sign maker John Jurgeleit told mic.com. “As a goof, I came up with this and sent it over and our [Transportation Department] commissioner, who has a great sense of humor and a love of signs also, she loved it – she went with it … to my surprise.”
This isn’t the first time that officials showed a little chutzpah in picking Brooklyn street signs. In 2000, Borough President Marty Markowitz had the DOT install a sign on the outbound Williamsburg Bridge reading “Leaving Brooklyn. Oy Vey!”