Police spokesman Paul J. Browne told The New York Times demonstrators who used the bridge's pedestrian walkway were not taken into custody but those who took over the Brooklyn-bound lanes and impeded traffic were arrested. The exact number of people arrested was not available, the newspaper said.
Some of the 1,500 or so protesters said they felt entrapped by police.
"The cops watched and did nothing, indeed, seemed to guide us on to the roadway," said Jesse A. Myerson, a spokesman for Occupy Wall Street who was among the marchers who made their way from Zuccotti Park in lower Manhattan to the bridge but was not arrested.
Browne disputed that contention.
"This was not a trap," he said. "They were warned not to proceed."
The Occupy Wall Street protests have been going on for 15 days in an effort to draw attention to what the demonstrators call inequities in the U.S. economic system.