Atlantic Avenue ‘Funderpass’ To Link BQE & BBP

Crossing Atlantic Avenue to enter Brooklyn Bridge Park has never been a particularly easy—or scenic—route. But that’s about to change with news that the the Atlantic Avenue BID is transforming the tunnel beneath the BQE… into a FUNderpass. The Brooklyn Paper reports that the BID has been awarded a $75,000 city grant to remake the space with colorful murals, new lighting, seating, directional signage and a bike station.

The pedestrian thoroughfare, which lies between Brooklyn Heights and Cobble Hill, will be developed with the Design Trust for Public Space over the next year. Josef Szende, executive director of the AA BID, tells Brooklyn Paper, “It will really be a game changer. The goal of the project is to transform the underpass into an inviting gateway linking the waterfront to Atlantic Avenue’s dynamic shops and restaurants.”

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  • Santonio Greene

    I’m sure the pigeons will have something to say about that.

  • DrewB

    Step 1: Pigeon eradication.

    Until they deal with that problem that underpass will always be disgusting.

  • Claude Scales

    Perhaps what we need is an inviting place for red-tailed hawks to nest nearby.

  • Neighbor Hood

    What an incredibly absurd idea and waste of money. How about spending less to clean it up and light it well, rather than create a possible hazard to pedestrians by encouraging them to congregate there rather than passing quickly and safely through?

  • Jorale-man

    I think it’s a sensible idea if done right. Who doesn’t want things like “colorful murals, new lighting, seating, directional signage” to what is now a forbidding place? But yes, the pigeons need to find a new home.

  • Luke C

    Hopefully it will inspire some ideas for dealing with the Old Fulton BQE underpass. Even with the new Squibb Park overpass, people are still going to stream down that street to Grimaldi’s and DUMBO and Fulton Ferry landing.

  • Clark St. Resident

    IMHO – this underpass and the Squibb bridge will both be “cool” but both are being marketed as an easier ways for the average pedestrian to get to the park and I don’t see how someone who was able-bodied enough to walk from Columbia St. to the park or from Atlantic Ave. to the park will be better off w/ these changes.

    I like the idea of a tunnel similar to the Cloisters from Clark St. to the park but I imagine it’s prohibitively expensive.

    I agree w/ Luke C that development of the park level stretch between Joralemon and Old Fulton would be a worthier cause.

  • Alec

    in related news, the new traffic island to control flow from traffic on hicks turning left on to atlantic to get on the BQE has been an utter failure – creates crazy backups – they need to remove that island, re-introduce that right on red, and rethink that pedestrian crossing on that side of the street

  • Arlene Randazzo

    Of course “able bodied” people can walk down the hill and get to the park. What about seniors and the not so able bodied? Oh, yeah. The hell with them. Regardless of how it is being marketed, more people will have access.

  • Neighbor Hood

    @Arlene- I don’t see how these cosmetic changes will have any effect on access. There are no barriers for walking through the underpass now. It’s dirty yes (like all underpasses), but how does this plan improve access? My fear is that
    A. @Alec is spot on.The new turning island/restrictions on Atlantic at the entrance ramp to BQE are a NIGHTMARE. Causes back up’s confusion and distractions for drivers trying to navigate the now narrower turn and look for 3 kinds if oncoming vehicle traffic from 3 lanes/directions while looking for pedestrians
    B. encouraging people, especially children, to congregate on the sidewalk under the “funderpass” could create distracted pedestrians, spilling off the sidewalk and adds another layer of visual distraction to drivers trying to navigate the confusing new entrance rules, which could god forbid, lead to pedestrians being struck.
    C. the police frequently pull trucks and cars over for emergencies and checks along that sidewalk. NOT a good combination.

  • Clark St. Resident

    Arlene – it was not my intention to deny rights to seniors. It’s not my understanding that the main purpose of the Squibb Park Bridge (nor this funderpass) is for handicapped access, though, so if it’s chiefly for people without physical disabilities to improve “accessibility”; I think it’s of questionable value.

    Like I said, I think it’s more anpit novelty and aesthetics than anything — which may or may not be the best investment.

  • Clark St. Resident

    Sorry, that was typo: “…it’s more ABOUT novelty….”

  • Teddy

    I know it would be expensive and I’m not even sure if it’s feasible, but I think a tunnel under the BQE would be a better solution.