A tradition dating back to... 2004, has now reached Brooklyn by way of Italy. That year a movie called Tre Metri Sopra il Cielo (based on a 1992 novel by Federico Moccia) hit the big screen and included a scene where a couple secured their love (via a lock) to a bridge, and then tossed the keys into the river below. In Italy this has plagued the Ponte Milvio, and now it seems to have made its way over to the Brooklyn Bridge.
According to the Brooklyn Paper there are quite a few signs of the tradition secured to the bridge—as well as benches, supports and pillars—dating back to 2007 (see for yourselves). The locks (which include names and a date) are illegal, as is fastening anything to the bridge, but the paper wonders if the law is enforced by the Department of Transportation.
We've contacted the DoT to find out if they're suckers for a little romance, or just blissfully unaware of these small objects being attached to the bridge. We'll update when/if we hear back. Meanwhile, back at the Ponte Milvio people are now being ticketed for their acts of amore.