Times on the Ongoing Nightmare of the BQE

The Times has a story about the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway that recounts the frustrations of drivers who use it–“It’s a nightmare”, it quotes livery cab driver Wilifredo Torres, who suffered a blowout that caused his fare to miss a flight–as well as of Brooklyn Heights residents:

New York Times: The highway has also been an irritating neighbor for Lucille Plotz, 85, of Columbia Heights and her husband, Charles, 90. Take, for instance, a recent afternoon inside their apartment. First came the vibrations, then a loud crash; her butter cookies toppled from the counter to the kitchen floor, and the radiator cover dislodged and fell onto a wooden chair.

“If it was properly maintained it wouldn’t be a bother, but now it’s beyond just maintenance,” Mrs. Plotz said.

The article quotes another Heights resident, Bo Rodgers, as saying that when trucks hit bumps “it sounds like a bomb going off.”

Unfortunately, as we previously reported, the State has cancelled environmental studies considering possible options to the present BQE structure that is cantilevered along the bluff below the Promenade and along the east side of Furman Street. Instead, the Department of Transportation has simply committed to make those repairs that are necessary to maintain safety. But, as the article points out, the highway has been under continuous repair since even before it was completed.

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  • Gerry

    The BQE is what it is no way around it. I have lived on Columbia Heights for nearly 20 years next to the BQE most often traffic moves so slowly that I cant imagine a truck hitting a pot hole at an excessive speed so that my cookies would fall off the counter?

  • jim

    Oh my butter cookies….

  • WillowtownCop

    Didn’t one of the possible options involve rebuilding the stupid thing over the top of Columbia Place? I’m not sorry they aren’t looking into that anymore.

  • stuart

    Elevated highways are out. subterranean highways are in.
    The four or so miles of the road between Hamilton Avenue and Tillary Street should be hidden beneath a nice ribbon park. A civilized city would do that, but this is Brooklyn.

  • Jorale-man

    There was another good NY Times piece recently that looked at how Madrid buried one of its main highways underground and reclaimed six miles of its prime waterfront as parkland. And they did it all in the course of 7 or 8 years.


    As the writer points out, people in Madrid are far more willing to pay for such infrastructure upgrades and there’s less red tape and fear of “big government” than you find in NY.

  • Josh G

    Ha I’m “plotzing” (yiddish sp?) reading about Mrs. Plotz’s butter cookies. Were they the Danish ones you buy in the round tin? Some other kind? I expect the Times to get to the bottom of this.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/13189502@N02/ Eddyenergizer

    They need to drop “Express” from the name and just call it the Brooklyn Queens Way. In other words, adjust your expectations.

  • Gerry

    @ Eddyenergizer – LOL you said it!

    Talk about false adversiting – an expressway!