Because of a long standing conflict your correspondent was unable to attend Thursday evening’s Brooklyn Heights Association Annual Meeting. Fortunately, The Eagle’s Mary Frost was there to provide an excellent summary. As always for the past several years, the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway was a prominent topic. The Eagle story quotes BHA President Erika Belsey Worth:
The BHA has not wavered in our determination to pursue a more responsible and sustainable solution to the problem of the BQE … We continue to work with our neighbors in the ‘BQET,’ which is the Coalition for the BQE Transformation.
Ms. Belsey Worth also praised the addition of a bike lane to the Brooklyn Bridge, which has reduced the Manhattan bound auto lanes from three to two. The Eagle quotes her as saying this “benefits both bike riders and the crumbling cantilever underlying the Brooklyn Heights Promenade.” Presumably, the benefit to the Promenade results from drivers coming from the south and going to Manhattan deciding to pay the toll and take the Brooklyn-Battery — excuse me — the Hugh L. Carey Tunnel rather than face a horrendous traffic jam.
The BHA’s priorities, according to the Eagle story, include, among others, preserving the Promenade and its view plane, providing better access to Brooklyn Bridge Park from Atlantic Avenue, and new access to the Park directly from the Heights. This latter, we believe, is likely to mean, as discussed in an earlier Eagle story by Ms. Frost, a connection from the Promenade at the Montague Street entrance. This, to provide accessibility, would likely involve a bridge and an elevator tower.
Ms. Belsey Worth paid tribute to two Heights residents who were active in community affairs and whom we lost during the past year. Jack Kenny was alert to “quality of life” issues and strong in opposition to the proposal to build a temporary six lane BQE in place of the Promenade. Ben Crane rallied opposition to the plan to let developers put high rise buildings on the piers below the Heights, thereby blocking the view plane from the Promenade. The Eagle story quotes former BHA Executive Director Judy Stanton as saying Mr. Crane “gets as much credit for Brooklyn Bridge Park as can be poured on him.”
Traffic expert Sam Schwartz has been engaged to study Montague Street traffic patterns and to develop “designs for the four blocks from Court Street to Montague Terrace.” The objective, according to Ms. Belsey Worth as quoted in the Eagle story,
is to create a pedestrian-friendly zone that encourages people to linger and to shop so that our existing businesses will flourish and our new businesses will fill the remaining empty spots.
Ms. Belsey Worth also urged neighbors to patronize the shops in the Clark Street subway station arcade, “which are suffering a devastating loss of business during elevator construction.”
The meeting also featured community service awards, which we mentioned in our earlier post, along with discussion by two prominent journalists about the pressing issue of climate change. For more about these, see Ms. Frost’s Eagle story.