Comptroller Scott Stringer’s proposal for new uses and infrastructure for a portion of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway (BQE) from Brooklyn Heights to Carroll Gardens falls under that category.
Instead of rebuilding the full six-lane highway on the infamous triple-cantilever, Stringer wants to rehabilitate only the lower level of the bridge.
The plan then calls for converting the remaining roadway into a two-mile linear park with open space recreation, connecting neighborhoods along the Brooklyn waterfront that have been separated by highways.
This is exactly the type of bold proposal that Brooklyn Heights residents, fearful of losing their beloved promenade, wanted to see.
When the Department of Transportation (DOT) presented their solutions to rebuild the crumbling BQE, they only provided options that would continue the status quo for motorists.
Advocates who want to “break the car culture,” a phrase that’s becoming more and more popular among city politicians, preferred to see alternatives that prioritize mass transit and green space over cars.
Stringer, who has not hidden his ambition to run for mayor, has given advocates and Brooklyn residents a proposal worth fighting for.
This plan dramatically reimagines how residents and travelers make use of existing road infrastructure.
Rather than continuing to allow cars to pollute the air in Brooklyn neighborhoods – many of which have high asthma rates – this proposal would give Brooklynites more open space for recreational use.
While they’re at it, the city should also think about funding the BQGreen, a proposed park that would be built on a platform over portions of the BQE in Williamsburg.
The DOT will soon begin its environmental review process for the BQE rehab. It needs to strongly consider the Stringer proposal as a serious alternative.