Former Transportation Commissioner Criticizes Mayor’s BQE Plans

Gothamist reports that former DOT Commissioner Hank Gutman, who served under Mayor Bill de Blasio, opposes the three alternative long term Brooklyn Queens Expressway plans proposed by Mayor Eric Adams’s administration. All of these plans would keep the “Central” portion of the BQE following its present route around and below Brooklyn Heights. Mr. Gutman notes that federal regulations would require the traffic lanes on a rebuilt BQE to be wider than they are now, so that even a continuation of the present two lane configuration would result in a wider highway. Should the DOT revert to a three lane configuration, the highway would be “dramatically wider.” He suggested that repairing the existing cantilevered roadway instead of replacing or rebuilding it, which would require conformity with federal lane width requirements, might be the best plan. He noted that rebuilding schemes required the creation of a temporary highway to serve traffic during the rebuilding. DOT’s initial plan to put such a highway on the location of the Brooklyn Heights Promenade was withdrawn after intense community opposition. DOT’s present plans would put the temporary highway over part of Brooklyn Bridge Park.

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  • Andrew Porter

    I’m beginning to realize that whatever is done will happen after I die of old age…

  • TeddyNYC

    Pushing it off until the inevitable happens and then after that happens, it finally gets done. That’s often how it works here.

  • NeighboorHood

    Fun Fact: Hank Gutman sat on the Board of the Brooklyn Bridge Park when we in the community were objecting to their real estate giveaway to build lux condos and hotel in park at expense of additional park space. When it was revealed at the last minute before they voted to approve the giveaway that he had a deal with the developer of 90 Furman to BUY one of the proposed units for himself. All while facing us at community meetings while the neighborhood opposed what would be his new real estate investment. Nice work if you can get huh?

  • nomcebo manzini

    Yes, that stunk – big time – and he also has little to be proud of in his work for DiBlasio … which consisted of little more than a thumb in B.H.’s eye proposal and the usual 8 years of praying that the no doubt fuzzy survival-length (before the BQE falls down) estimates just happened to jive with reality.

    And as a BBP resident – one who might still be owed a favor or have some dirt on someone – which would surely be impacted negatively by some of the proposals he opposes, one has the furthest thing from an “objective” (much less, expert) voice weighing in.

    It doesn’t help that BIG DEAL things like “Who REALLY has the final say when the State, City & Federal Govt all have a thumb in the pie?” aren’t even asked, much less answered.

    It becomes clearer with each passing day that Mayor Adams will entertain offers from interested parties who are willing to help with megabux contributions if/when he runs again that even if his DOT does all the right things, no decision will be made based on the merits of a proposal.

  • Andrew Porter