NYC to love birds: 'love locks' on Brooklyn Bridge are dangerous and illegal

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A DOT Worker installs a sign on the Brooklyn Bridge. (DOT)

New York City has a message for local and visiting love birds who want to leave a metallic symbol of their love on the world-famous Brooklyn Bridge: "Don't. We will fine you."

The city has announced that clipping a so-called love lock -- just a small padlock, really -- anywhere along the 133-year-old span between Manhattan and Brooklyn is not only damaging to the structure, it is potentially dangerous and also costly. That is why cops can fine you $100 if they catch you doing it.

"A walk on the Brooklyn Bridge can be one of the most beautiful and romantic anywhere in the world," Department of Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg said in a statement. "However, with the bridge now loaded with so-called 'love locks,' we face costly maintenance headaches and serious potential dangers for car traffic. 

"While we welcome and appreciate the enthusiasm of couples sharing the walk on this New York City landmark, we ask that they abide by a variation of a maxim heard in our national parks: 'take nothing but selfies, leave nothing but footprints.'"

Crews posted signs on the bridge Friday warning pedestrians to not clip anything, especially locks, to the bridge. The city spent more than $100,000 in 2015 removing locks, earphones, and other objects from the bridge.

The locks can also pose a hazard, officials said. Back on September 8, a wire attached to a street light on the bridge broke under the weight of dozens of locks, the DOT said. A lane of the bridge was close for several hours while crews fixed the wire.

One lock may only weigh a few ounces, but thousands of them can stress the bridge. A fence on a famous bridge in Paris collapsed under the weight of hundreds of love locks.

"We encourage romantics to continue to express their love but avoid the heartache of a summons," NYPD Transportation Bureau Chief Thomas Chan said.