Local Electeds to Join BQE Rally on Promenade Saturday

This in from A Better Way NYC:

State Senator Brian Kavanagh, State Assembly Member Jo Anne Simon, and City Council Member Stephen Levin just announced that they will be joining Comptroller Scott Stringer at a press conference this Saturday calling for a community-driven solution to the BQE reconstruction.

Please show your support this Saturday, January 12th, at 11a.m. on the Promenade at the Pierrepont Street entrance.

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  • Andrew Porter

    It’s so cold out—currently 23F—that I’m going to pass this up.

  • Rick

    Big crowd out now, and no wind, so it really isn’t bad. And happy to see a lot of local news are here covering this.

  • CH’er

    A very large and enthusiastic crowd showed great support to virtually everyone who came. Except Jo Anne Simon got booed when she waffled about her position. She needs to come out clearly against the Promenade highway if she ever hopes to regain support in this neighborhood.

  • ByeBye

    Jo Anne Simon should start looking for other employment.

  • Roberto Gautier

    Couldn’t participate, but I spread the news to those I know, particularly at 140 Cadman Plaza West about the rally and the issues.
    If I had gone, I would have listened to whether our elected officials are truly on the side of the community and fully cognizant of what it means to experience unrestrained nightly construction. One of the most damaging elements to the DOT plan is the certain elevation of deadly levels of PM 2.5 pollution into a residential neighborhood from a six-lane highway to be put on the level of the Promenade.That the DOT plan includes demolishing buildings is a piece that many do not know of.
    We don’t need the electeds to feel our pain, but to stand with us. This is definitely going to be an election issue for Jo Anne Simon, Steve Levin and Brian Kavanagh.

  • Cranberry Beret

    DOT has told several coop boards and homeowners in the last 2 weeks that no buildings will be demolished. What’s your source to the contrary?

  • http://www.yotamzohar.com StudioBrooklyn

    “This is definitely going to be an election issue for Jo Anne Simon, Steve Levin and Brian Kavanagh”

    If they ultimately side with the DOT they may combat this PR issue by spinning Brooklyn Heights’ opposition to the DOT proposal as elitist exceptionalism/NIMBYism.

    Therefore, in addition to the battlefront we have with the DOT, we have to make it clear that our advocacy is in greater interests than just our own “tranquility.”

    For starters, the strongest speeches today included environmental issues and rethinking transportation paradigms. Perhaps this promenade issue will force the city into the 21st century with regard to how it prepares for the future of infrastructure.

  • Still Here

    Good for you, Jo Anne, and the other LEOS for wanting to wait and see what shall be proposed after more discussions with the DOT and other agencies, There is more at stake than just the Promenade and she has other constituent neighborhoods north and south whose concerns must also be addressed, There is no ‘complete’ alternative on the table; even the BHA knows their plan does not address everything, Give it time.

  • fultonferryres

    Yes, kudos to Jo Anne Simon for waiting for the DOT analysis of the BHA plan before taking a definitive position. She represents constituents in Cobble Hil, Dumbo and Fulton Ferry too, and the project impacts all of them.

  • Jorale-man

    I just read the NY Post article on yesterday’s event, which opened with a quote from a wealthy celebrity who lives steps away from the Promenade. So it’s clear that they’re taking the “elitism” angle in how they spin this. Which, of course, is completely bogus – no neighborhood, rich or poor, should have to endure a new 6-lane highway running through it in 2019. As you say, the discussion needs to evolve beyond the 2 plans originally put forward by the city.

  • http://www.yotamzohar.com StudioBrooklyn

    I saw that too and was fairly horrified by it. Second paragraph: “here’s some celebrities who live nearby and bought a $78,000,000,000,000,000 property which they now wish to protect from the highway the rest of us will need, not unlike those owned by the other snobs at this event”

  • W.R.

    The BHA plan pretty much ignores Willowtown issues. Willowtown already has the elevated highway in its back yard. There needs to be advocacy by the BHA for all of the Heights not just the wealthy few on Columbia place. Issues for Willowtown include a montague street entrance to the park, inclusion of how their plan impacts elevation and noise for Willowtown, and a serious focus on mitigation for pollution (noise and particulate matter) there as well. If the BHA doesn’t start representing all of Brooklyn Heights, residents in this area may vocally support the DoT plan as a better alternative to this area of the Heights.

  • http://www.yotamzohar.com StudioBrooklyn

    I’m hoping that DOT opposition focuses (at least in some significant part) on ecological issues and on preparing for the future of transport, rather than retrofitting the BQE rehab to 20th century transport paradigms. (A few of Saturday’s speakers alluded to such ideas.) Such considerations would by design include curbing many kinds of pollution, including noise and vehicle emissions. Hopefully this would in turn bring relief to Willowtown as well as many other BQE-adjacent parts of the city.

    There’s science out there (I haven’t read much of it yet) about how many decades stand between us and an inevitable future in which human-controlled, gas-powered vehicles have obsolesced completely, and the implications this obsolescence will have upon infrastructure. It’s a future I think we should be accepting of, since it’s inevitable, and part of that is rethinking the way we create roads and work to disincentivize non-HOV passenger traffic.

    I was in Berlin (Germany) recently and noticed that I never saw a cargo vehicle larger than a large van anywhere in the city. No semis having to do seven-point turns through crowded intersections while queues of impatient motorists lean on their horns, no trucks belching plumes of diesel fumes into residential neighborhoods. I found out how Berlin created such an apocalyptic scenario: https://www.berlin.de/senuvk/umwelt/luftqualitaet/umweltzone/en/allgemeines.shtml

    TL;DR: Berlin created “environmental zones” in which only vehicles meeting certain emission standards are allowed to go. Trucks basically aren’t allowed inside the city because none of them meet the emissions criteria.

    Are New Yorkers intelligent enough to copy a good idea?

  • Local_Montague_Man

    W.R., didn’t you sign up for this when you moved there? I’m not really sure I follow how Willowtown is in worse place post plan implementation (feel free to educate me as I may be missing relevant facts). I am pretty sure I understand how people living along the Promenade are in a worse place. I am all for Willowtown trying to improve the current situation for their residents, but from my vantage it’s not as if you are being bent over here.

  • W.R.

    The BHA has not shared how their plan impacts WT – thus we don’t know if it’s worse than the DOT plan for us. Additionally, it has not included the Montague entrance which is critical and therefore de facto more likely to happen in the DOT plan. As to what we signed up for — you could use the same argument with the fat cats along the promenade. And there is the added issue that advocacy shouldn’t be limited to few if the BHA truly represents the Heights. Adam Yauch park could be crunched, Riverside apartments matter, and overall health should be a priority everywhere — not just for the wealthy few with mega mansions on the promenade. Responses like yours make it for more likely we will side with the DoT! They seem to care a lot more about WT than the BHA.

  • Roberto Gautier

    Thank you for the link to the site that details Berlin’s “environmental zones.” They are excellent models for us.

  • Local_Montague_Man

    My question to you was how is the DOT plan bad for Willowtown? Serious question. Also just for clarification do you want the park entrance at Montague or not and why? Also, not to be confrontational, but why would my response to you (or anything I have to say) effect your thought process/ decision making on what is best for you? Making decisions out of spite doesn’t seem like the best avenue to get what you want, right?

  • Cranberry Beret

    WR, as far as I know, all the BHA has said is that they’d like DOT to consider other thinking including moving the temporary highway off the promenade and onto the Furman St berms. I don’t think they’ve come out with another “plan” and certainly not one that negatively impacts Willowtown in the way you suggest. I was at the rally on Saturday and they all were talking about noise impact, health impact, etc. – all the things that will hurt all of the neighborhood (whether in Willowtown or not). I haven’t seen anyone come out and say “let’s move the impacts CLOSER to Willowtown so we can move them FARTHER from somewhere else.” What’s your source?

  • Cranberry Beret

    This is an excellent point and hopefully community activism can get the city and state interested in these issues. Many cities in Europe have already completed construction and programs that limit vehicles into the urban center based on emissions levels and congestion, move roadways underground, etc. The idea that we would push forward on a hugely expensive and time-consuming program to basically re-do the Robert Moses style of mid-20th century transportation planning, given what we already know is coming in this 21st century for autonomous vehicles, patterns of urban development and climate change, is insane.

  • http://www.yotamzohar.com StudioBrooklyn

    Thanks. I’m not directly involved with the BHA or any other anti-DOT proposal groups (can’t fit into my schedule) so I’m hoping that readers who agree and are involved, bring these ideas to the discussion when appropriate.

  • Furman St Father

    Any plan that doesn’t consider the impact on BBP and the residents of Dumbo and Fulton Ferry should also be a no go. NIMBYism by Promenade residents shouldn’t mean that their problem gets dumped neighbors who have less celebrity fire power and camera ready shooting locations.

  • Save BBP!

    Never forget that the BHA’s charter is to promote and protect BH – and namely the gilded brownstones of Columbia. Which is totally OK. But don’t think for one second that their NIMBYism would ever take pause at dumping their problem somewhere else – like BBP where lots of “noisy kids” who traverse through their neighborhood go. This is setting itself up to pit neighbor against neighbor – and God forbid you have cheaper lawyers!

  • TeddyNYC

    Is there such a thing as cheaper lawyers in this city?