BQE Northbound Traffic Flows Normally on Day One of Two Lane Restriction

Here’s a photo I took at about 8:20 this morning from the southern edge of the Brooklyn Heights Promenade, showing traffic as it merges into two lanes from three where the lane restriction begins. The flow continued normally – I looked over the side of the Promenade at the traffic heading north, and it continued to flow.IMG_5633

Here’s another photo, from about 7:20 this evening. Traffic is heavier, but it continues to flow smoothly.

I didn’t do an exhaustive survey, but didn’t notice any abnormal traffic increase on any of the streets in the Heights. Please let us know if you had, or are having, any such experience.

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  • MaggieO

    Ditto. I was out on Clinton, Tillary, and Prospect Place around both morning and evening rush hours and didn’t see any increase in local traffic. It may still come, as roads get busier come September and people decide to try different routes. It did seem like the traffic in the Hicks Street trench was pretty awful based on the google traffic map so Cobble Hill likely got an extra dose of exhaust.

  • CassieVonMontague

    I notice the lanes are on the west side of the BQE, not against the wall. From a physics standpoint, doesn’t having a load farther out on the cantilever increase load placed on the structure? Why not put the lanes up against the retaining wall?

  • Arch Stanton

    Apparently they are planning to do some remedial work on the structure using the lane by lane method. In which case it makes. sense to start at the wall.

  • Arch Stanton

    Whilst heading “north” on the BQE yesterday, I witnessed traffic backed severely up all the way through Queens on the “south” bound side. Thus I wouldn’t judge the traffic as being “normal” simply by the flow of the 2 lane section. You need to look further south to see the real effect of the lane closure. My guess, it was probably backed up to New Jersey!

  • Claude Scales

    I know it’s technically east and west instead of north and south, but thought it clearer to describe the direction of the traffic in terms of the actual direction of the highway along the cantilevered part.

    Thanks for the perspective on traffic conditions further afield.

  • Cranberry Beret

    This morning, as I drove south in the Cobble Hill trench, I noticed that not only was the northbound side clogged, but so was the entirety of Hicks Street from Hamilton Ave to Atlantic Ave. There was no abnormal traffic on Hicks in the Heights this morning, so it looks like the Cobble Hill drivers were getting back onto the BQE once they passed the trench, and not entering the Heights.

    This seems to be the normal pattern, not worse this week.

    There are lots of traffic cops at all the key intersections (Old Fulton/Hicks, Columbia entrance ramp, Clinton/Hamilton)…but I didn’t observe them doing anything except standing around. Also DOT observers at the Columbia on-ramp, and Old Fulton/Hicks on-ramp.

  • mycoversblown

    Took me 30 minutes to drive from Home Depot to Peirpont St on Tue afternoon.

  • marcel

    So, normal? Traffic is horrendous in this city. Too many people.

  • Anonymous

    What are you talking about. Before traffic took me 30 min to go to work. Now it takes me 45-49 min to go to work. What kind of survey did you took? Traffic is backed up. If there is a broken car, the traffic is bad…. now moving from 3 lanes to 2 lanes is messed up.
    How you can remove weight on BQE by reducing lanes.
    Now cars spend more time at BQE because of the traffic.
    All of this to use the tunnel and to use the public transportation to compensate MTA from covid

  • mycoversblown

    No. Normal is 8 minutes. It was unlike anything I’ve seen in Cobble Hill and the Heights. Thanks for the insight.

  • MaggieO

    all of this was set in motion well before covid. definitely noticed more honking on Clinton today and a backup getting around on Prospect Place. I have a feeling we’re in for a whole new ball-game once school starts up.

  • Nomcebo Manzini

    Remember, THIS is a time when lots of big Manhattan employers are postponing the after-Labor-Day return to their offices for 1-6 months … and others have either decided or still mulling NEVER requiring their peeps to “go back.”

    I saw a NYT article recently that said that Manhattan’s job losses were humongous – nowhere near reversed – while Brooklyn wound up with plenty of people starting businesses they could run from their “home base” and some bargain-hunting former Manhattan-based companies betting on Brooklyn for lots of obvious reasons.

    Point is – as should be obvious – one morning does not suffice to sensibly assert that “we’re good.”

    Oh yes. And late August probably features historically some of the lowest per day amounts of vehicular traffic.

  • Nomcebo Manzini

    Since you mentioned Covid, I probably should begin by reminding myself and others that it doesn’t do anything but harm to raise the volume when it comes to trying to balance the needs and interests and preferences of drivers from those of us who seldom are in automobiles in NYC.

    Having said that, YES, the MTA is hurting, and in the absence of a really decent mass transit system, NYC is probably no longer viable.

    Those “existential” crises really FORCE places to do things that they probably would rule out in ordinary circumstances.

    The thing you miss is that there is a MAMMOTH (esp. in places as densely populated as the NY Metro area … where lots of traffic moves at the < 20 mph rate that's worst in terms of emissions) impact on the climate by reducing the # of miles (is it billions?) that the population is driving in (often) 1-occupant cars.

    This is called "sharing the pain." If/when those with good incomes give up on mass transit and turn to Uber/Lyft, they may experience an immediate "gain," but it comes at the expense of the large majority which lack that option.

  • Sean Haley

    Only speaking to a trip that I took on Sunday, 9/5 (I dont own a car but have driven before and sat in endless trips on the BQE). Traffic on Sunday on a holiday evening should have been light. The typical backup to the Battery Tunnel split was there but a bit heavier than normal. Since coming to the Heights, we always exit at Hamilton Ave for Hicks St rather than deal with that awkward exit on Atlantic, Hicks St was backed up for several blocks before Atlantic due to traffic on Atlantic for cars not being able to enter the highway from Atlantic. So cars turning left from Hicks to Atlantic were stuck and Atlantic was gridlocked at Hicks b/c of the entrance congestion from Atlantic. This is on a quiet Sunday evening of a holiday weekend. The reason why people in the heights probably arent seeing as much traffic in the Brooklyn Heights area is b/c most people would rather enter at Atlantic Ave than have to travel all the way to Sand St for the ‘northbound’ BQE direction.