The City’s Department of Transportation will, according to Kevin Duggan in The Brooklyn Paper, have a closed door meeting this coming Monday, March 11 (the story doesn’t specify the time or location of the meeting) with “leaders of local community boards” to get their views on plans to rehabilitate the cantilevered portion of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway that runs below Brooklyn Heights. One of these plans, which the DOT has presented as its preferred option, would be to replace the Brooklyn Heights Promenade with a temporary six lane highway for a period not less than six years. The other DOT option, the “traditional” plan, would repair the BQE lane by lane and, according to the DOT, require closure of the Promenade for at least two years. It would also lead to serious traffic backups and cause heavy diversion of traffic onto local streets, affecting not only Brooklyn Heights but also neighboring communities.
According to the Brooklyn Paper story, DOT didn’t say what community boards had been invited to the meeting. It does quote Robert Perris, executive director of Brooklyn Community Board 2, which includes Brooklyn Heights as well as some neighboring communities, as saying CB 2 has been invited. It also quotes Patrick Killackey, a member of CB 2’s Transportation and Public Safety Committee and a former president of the Brooklyn Heights Association, as saying, “I want [DOT] to not be evasive about it, and answer our questions about alternative proposals.” Among these alternatives is one proposed by the BHA.
In another development, Julianne Cuba in Streetsblog NYC reports that City Council Speaker Corey Johnson
“is demanding that the city rethink its much-reviled plan to tear down and fully replace a short segment of the crumbling Brooklyn-Queens Expressway in Brooklyn Heights — which carries 153,000 gas-guzzling vehicles every day.”
The Streetsblog story notes that the Speaker’s remarks about the BQE reflect his proposals in his Let’s Go Transit Plan, which envision much less reliance on private autos and trucks.
Finally, we have word from the BHA that the town hall meeting on the BQE, announced for Tuesday evening, March 12, is being rescheduled because of scheduling difficulties with local elected officials. The BHA is hoping to find a date acceptable for all in early April. We at BHB will keep you posted.