DOT Will Present BQE Plan at On Line Meeting Tuesday Evening

Our friends at the Brooklyn Heights Association have alerted us that on this Tuesday, September 14, starting at 6:00 PM, staff from the City’s Department of Transportation will present their plan for the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway to a meeting of the Transportation Committee of Community Board 2. The meeting will be held on line; to log on to the meeting go to CB 2’s calendar page and click on Tuesday, September 14 where it says “6pm CB2 – Transport.”

The BHA notes that work on the BQE’s Hicks Street wall “is nearing completion and should be finished this fall” and that “we are pleased by the responsiveness and general care taken to minimize neighborhood impact.” If you live in the affected area, has this been your experience? They also note that, following the reduction of the BQE from three lanes to two between Atlantic Avenue and the Brooklyn Bridge, “[w]hat we haven’t observed is an increase of trucks or cars on our neighborhood streets – let us know what you are seeing!”

Share this Story:


  • Nomcebo Manzini

    I *still* wonder – in connection with the last sentence:

    “What we haven’t observed is an increase of trucks or cars on our neighborhood streets – let us know what you are seeing!” [Reading Claude as most would, the “WE” seems to refer to the BHA.]

    … WHETHER the combination of a huge continuing amount of WFH; SOME (maybe, delta-related; maybe, seasonal) slowness in “summer’s over” thinking; and the “breaking in” period when a few thousand drivers may be adjusting to this BIG CHANGE …

    isn’t resulting in an erroneous or pre-mature “all systems go” verdict.

    I DO NOT WISH “traffic madness” on our local streets, but I saw plenty of evidence of just that on Clinton Street yesterday, Saturday. I believe that the DOT or BHA are jumping to a dubious conclusion. (That this change has sent thousands to subways or express buses or the Carey tunnel DOES strike me as beyond unlikely.)

    What’s nasty from a public policy p.o.v. is that the DOT has never been – remember Polly? – anything other than “suck it up” when it comes to their work, and I could easily imagine them NOT responding to major local traffic issues in the Heights with an “We’ve already looked at that – the community’s BHB noted that ‘There’s been no increase of trucks or cars on our neighborhood streets’ in an article by its publisher.”

  • Claude Scales

    I put that part in quotation marks to indicate that the words were the BHA’s, not mine (or BHB’s). I did intend to invite any responses that might differ from the initial observation reported by the BHA, which the BHA also invited in its quoted words. Yours is the second report I’ve seen of unusually heavy traffic on Clinton.

  • Mike

    I attempted to drive from Ocean Parkway to LIC via the BQE Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday this week. Each time traffic was outrageous. Today (Sunday) was the worst weekend traffic I’ve ever seen without there being an accident involved. Hicks, Clinton, etc. were completely clogged as well. It took 15 minutes to cover two blocks of Hicks near Atlantic. Same coming the other way: on Friday evening I bailed at Kent and tried the Vanderbilt route, which was similarly slow. Sunday returning from LIC to Brooklyn GMaps told me to take the Midtown Tunnel to the FDR to the Carey; I decided to eat the tolls and try it out only to sit in stopped traffic for 20 minutes in Manhattan. I would have happily taken trains as an alternative this weekend, but reduced service on the MTA and interruptions in the G train made that an impossible alternative. The DOT and/or BHA are blowing smoke if they’re making claims about there being no increase in traffic. A quick peek at GMaps at just about any time shows 20ish minute delays just on that one stretch of the BQE…

  • Nomcebo Manzini

    I’m not “an advocate” of anything other than vigilance. That is, IF (yes, I think WHEN) streets like Clinton, Henry & Hicks start to take on too much of the load of a highway like the BQE, it would be great if the City responded – if only by an increased presence of traffic agents.

    Which makes me wonder whether the usual “Try to schedule as much work as possible on weekends” – something both the MTA and DOT seem to favor, for obvious reasons – might explain both your observation and mine.

    In this section, I’ve seen reports that a single breakdown can “back up traffic” (heading toward Queens) back to Sunset Park. Heaven knows, this is the streetscape version of bypass surgery. How many parents drive their kids to school? (Starting today?) Will City workers being forced to go back to offices nudge the needle into the red zone?

    Actually, I think that with this probably lasting 5-10 years, we need something dramatic (yes, disruptive, too) like what they did on 14th St. in Manhattan. Maybe, Atlantic should have 3 lanes in the “heavy” direction during the 2 rush hours or half-the-work-day if that’s logistically simpler. Obviously, that’s Heights-favorable, but it also benefits the drivers and air quality. Downsides? Nothing major that I can see. (Yeah, constant double-parking outside Sahadi’s would take a hit.)

  • MaggieO

    this is supposed to last for 20 years. yes. that is the plan.

  • Nomcebo Manzini

    Yeah, BUT …

    Not sure IF (let alone when) weekend subway service will not be “other than scheduled” for more than the occasional weekend, but [ah, “the L line”] it’s almost never more than a year in one place.

    With that “troubled mile” near most of us “going first,” aren’t you confident that by 2030, we’ll be seeing BQE-related tsuris … in the rear view mirror?

  • Andrew Porter

    I continue to read comments on the BHB in which commenters think of the BHA as a malignant force. I wonder how many of them are members and/or support their mission, which includes tree planting and maintenance, and other activities devoted to improving this neighborhood.

  • MaggieO

    I’m absolutely not confident that BQE tsuris will be in the rear view mirror by 2030. The cantilever section needs more than some waterproofing work (which is what i understand the current scope of work to entail) to actually be fixed. I think in 2030 we will be seeing the next phase of shutdowns that may actually be more draconian than the current phase.

  • Cranberry Beret

    TBH I don’t think the traffic *in the Heights* (on Clinton, Henry & Hicks) has been worse over the last couple of weeks. I’ve driven all over this past weekend and other times (and see Hicks & Cranberry daily).

    Hicks south of Atlantic (along the cobble hill trench) has been bad at times but that’s no different than the past year ever since the LICH construction has blocked a lane.

  • Jorale-man

    Traffic does seem to be the worst it has been in some time. I suspect much of what we’re seeing are people taking Uber and Lyft in order to avoid the subways and the attendant Covid risks. And with schools in person and the city workforce being ordered back to their offices, that’s a lot more people suddenly out and about.

  • Nomcebo Manzini

    They’re “fiddling” – not that those tree pits aren’t a wonderful gesture – while B.H. all but burns.

    Pick any issue – THEY made “Montague St.’s plight” one they felt strongly about and … put some money into a survey.

    Now that vacancies are disappearing on Smith St and Court St., where IS the situation somewhere between bad and worse? That’s right – Montague.

    They talk the talk, but do they EVER walk the walk? They’re fusty and proud of it. Read the bios of their key people.

    That much talent and money delivering so little is nothing short of disgraceful.

  • Effective Presenter

    Agree many folks take cars thats nothing new. We have not seen an uptick in traffic in recent weeks. However we have been away.