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Regional Boards => Northeast => Topic started by: MantyMadTown on March 23, 2019, 12:09:53 AM

Title: Brooklyn-Queens Expressway
Post by: MantyMadTown on March 23, 2019, 12:09:53 AM
So lately I've heard that engineers want to tear down and rebuild the triple-cantilevered stretch of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway in NYC that includes the Brooklyn Heights Promenade and the Brooklyn Bridge Park. I've seen multiple proposals for it, from reconstructing the BQE in its original form to tearing down the BQE entirely. Here are some of the proposals I read about for rebuilding this highway:

You can also read about the proposals here:
https://ny.curbed.com/2019/3/12/18248873/brooklyn-heights-bqe-repair-dot

I'm pretty saddened by the fact NYCDOT only announced the first two options at their public meeting in 2018, when there are so many other options out there. The new options (including the ones presented by Comptroller Scott Stringer and Council Speaker Corey Johnson, who I heard were also running for mayor) were announced just recently, and personally I think they are much better than the options given by NYCDOT. I'm wondering which proposal you think is best, or if there's something else you have in mind, you can share it here as well.
Title: Re: Brooklyn-Queens Expressway
Post by: Alps on March 23, 2019, 02:53:42 AM
There were also other tunnel proposals, none of which are financially feasible.
Title: Re: Brooklyn-Queens Expressway
Post by: Ben114 on March 23, 2019, 10:43:30 AM
Personally, I'd want either 3 or 4.

3 because I think the High Line was a success.

4 because there are other ways for traffic.
Title: Re: Brooklyn-Queens Expressway
Post by: AMLNet49 on March 23, 2019, 11:39:11 AM
#4 will never happen because that would be the end of 278 which was a very difficulty interstate to patch together, but it was done for a reason, so that there is a through-route that goes through the city.  They can't just arbitrarily get rid of something so macro because some people on a certain part of its route don't like it. Totally different scenario than I-895 in the Bronx, where the road was basically a stub, or I-81 in Syracuse, where alternative routings for I-81 are possible
Title: Re: Brooklyn-Queens Expressway
Post by: Mergingtraffic on March 23, 2019, 03:52:23 PM
I can't stand this crap....you can't just tear down an expressway and magically go back to a time when there was less traffic and be in happy land. 

Most interstates were built in cities b/c most cities had bad traffic even before they were built! And now, where would all today's traffic go!?!  NYC doesn't have enough expressways as it is, some sections aren't even served by one. 
Title: Re: Brooklyn-Queens Expressway
Post by: MantyMadTown on March 23, 2019, 06:14:32 PM
I can't stand this crap....you can't just tear down an expressway and magically go back to a time when there was less traffic and be in happy land. 

Most interstates were built in cities b/c most cities had bad traffic even before they were built! And now, where would all today's traffic go!?!  NYC doesn't have enough expressways as it is, some sections aren't even served by one.

Most people in NYC don't even drive, so I'm sure they're not gonna want another expressway tearing through their neighborhood like in the days of Robert Moses. Building another expressway isn't going to magically solve NYC's traffic problem; if anything it's going to make it worse.

I agree though that option #4 isn't really feasible, given the truck traffic using the highway.
Title: Re: Brooklyn-Queens Expressway
Post by: DJStephens on March 24, 2019, 10:51:40 AM
Moses' personal statements and behaviors at times did not help.  "Chopping Through with a Meat Axe" is a statement attributed to him.   Have always believed NYC would have been better off overall if the crossmanhattan and Lomex facilities had indeed been built, as either tunneled or depressed routes as much as possible.   
Title: Re: Brooklyn-Queens Expressway
Post by: 1995hoo on March 24, 2019, 01:21:58 PM
I can't stand this crap....you can't just tear down an expressway and magically go back to a time when there was less traffic and be in happy land. 

Most interstates were built in cities b/c most cities had bad traffic even before they were built! And now, where would all today's traffic go!?!  NYC doesn't have enough expressways as it is, some sections aren't even served by one.

Most people in NYC don't even drive, so I'm sure they're not gonna want another expressway tearing through their neighborhood like in the days of Robert Moses. Building another expressway isn't going to magically solve NYC's traffic problem; if anything it's going to make it worse.

I agree though that option #4 isn't really feasible, given the truck traffic using the highway.

"Most people in NYC don't drive" is probably inaccurate unless you equate "Manhattan" with "NYC." In the other four boroughs a lot of people own cars, especially because there are plenty of areas that are poorly served, or not served at all, by the subway. It's fair to say city residents might be less likely to drive for routine errands than is the case in many other places, but to say they "don't drive" isn't really accurate.
Title: Re: Brooklyn-Queens Expressway
Post by: MantyMadTown on March 24, 2019, 05:10:23 PM
I can't stand this crap....you can't just tear down an expressway and magically go back to a time when there was less traffic and be in happy land. 

Most interstates were built in cities b/c most cities had bad traffic even before they were built! And now, where would all today's traffic go!?!  NYC doesn't have enough expressways as it is, some sections aren't even served by one.

Most people in NYC don't even drive, so I'm sure they're not gonna want another expressway tearing through their neighborhood like in the days of Robert Moses. Building another expressway isn't going to magically solve NYC's traffic problem; if anything it's going to make it worse.

I agree though that option #4 isn't really feasible, given the truck traffic using the highway.

"Most people in NYC don't drive" is probably inaccurate unless you equate "Manhattan" with "NYC." In the other four boroughs a lot of people own cars, especially because there are plenty of areas that are poorly served, or not served at all, by the subway. It's fair to say city residents might be less likely to drive for routine errands than is the case in many other places, but to say they "don't drive" isn't really accurate.

Ok that's a fair argument. But from what I heard, people in NYC as a whole still don't drive as much as people in other cities, especially because of the people living in areas widely served by transit.

I found that the majority of car owners in NYC live in Queens and Staten Island, and even they don't regularly commute by car as much as people in other cities. Here's the data I found:
https://www.nycedc.com/blog-entry/new-yorkers-and-their-cars
Title: Re: Brooklyn-Queens Expressway
Post by: 1995hoo on March 24, 2019, 05:25:28 PM
I can't stand this crap....you can't just tear down an expressway and magically go back to a time when there was less traffic and be in happy land. 

Most interstates were built in cities b/c most cities had bad traffic even before they were built! And now, where would all today's traffic go!?!  NYC doesn't have enough expressways as it is, some sections aren't even served by one.

Most people in NYC don't even drive, so I'm sure they're not gonna want another expressway tearing through their neighborhood like in the days of Robert Moses. Building another expressway isn't going to magically solve NYC's traffic problem; if anything it's going to make it worse.

I agree though that option #4 isn't really feasible, given the truck traffic using the highway.

"Most people in NYC don't drive" is probably inaccurate unless you equate "Manhattan" with "NYC." In the other four boroughs a lot of people own cars, especially because there are plenty of areas that are poorly served, or not served at all, by the subway. It's fair to say city residents might be less likely to drive for routine errands than is the case in many other places, but to say they "don't drive" isn't really accurate.

Ok that's a fair argument. But from what I heard, people in NYC as a whole still don't drive as much as people in other cities, especially because of the people living in areas widely served by transit.

I found that the majority of car owners in NYC live in Queens and Staten Island, and even they don't regularly commute by car as much as people in other cities. Here's the data I found:
https://www.nycedc.com/blog-entry/new-yorkers-and-their-cars

Oh, I definitely don't disagree with any of that. My only quibble was with "most people in NYC don't drive." I construed that as "don't drive at all."
Title: Re: Brooklyn-Queens Expressway
Post by: MantyMadTown on March 24, 2019, 06:41:34 PM
I can't stand this crap....you can't just tear down an expressway and magically go back to a time when there was less traffic and be in happy land. 

Most interstates were built in cities b/c most cities had bad traffic even before they were built! And now, where would all today's traffic go!?!  NYC doesn't have enough expressways as it is, some sections aren't even served by one.

Most people in NYC don't even drive, so I'm sure they're not gonna want another expressway tearing through their neighborhood like in the days of Robert Moses. Building another expressway isn't going to magically solve NYC's traffic problem; if anything it's going to make it worse.

I agree though that option #4 isn't really feasible, given the truck traffic using the highway.

"Most people in NYC don't drive" is probably inaccurate unless you equate "Manhattan" with "NYC." In the other four boroughs a lot of people own cars, especially because there are plenty of areas that are poorly served, or not served at all, by the subway. It's fair to say city residents might be less likely to drive for routine errands than is the case in many other places, but to say they "don't drive" isn't really accurate.

Ok that's a fair argument. But from what I heard, people in NYC as a whole still don't drive as much as people in other cities, especially because of the people living in areas widely served by transit.

I found that the majority of car owners in NYC live in Queens and Staten Island, and even they don't regularly commute by car as much as people in other cities. Here's the data I found:
https://www.nycedc.com/blog-entry/new-yorkers-and-their-cars

Oh, I definitely don't disagree with any of that. My only quibble was with "most people in NYC don't drive." I construed that as "don't drive at all."

Well certainly some don't drive at all. For those that live in an area with good subway access, why drive when you can just take the subway?
Title: Re: Brooklyn-Queens Expressway
Post by: 1995hoo on March 24, 2019, 06:48:16 PM
Well certainly some don't drive at all. For those that live in an area with good subway access, why drive when you can just take the subway?

Maybe they want to go places the subway doesn't go, including places outside New York City? One of my aunts used to live in Bay Ridge about three blocks from the last stop on the RR, but she drove regularly enough, including if she wanted to visit her daughter (my cousin) in New Jersey. (My aunt now lives in a part of Queens that's not particularly close to either a bus or subway stop.)
Title: Re: Brooklyn-Queens Expressway
Post by: Plutonic Panda on March 24, 2019, 10:35:38 PM
Here I am hoping that someday the Midtown Manhattan freeway is built albeit in a new elevated form like Tokyoís urban freeways.

Absolutely no to any proposal tearing down the freeway; that is extremely shortsighted. Iím more open to ideas about tunneling it and building an urban BLVD or green space on top. I like the idea of rebuilding it better. Even more so would be rebuilding it and adding capacity with a double deck possibly being tolled express lanes, but in todays political climate when it comes to adding freeway capacity in urban cities, that is a non starter. I support Alt. 1.

As for the fact they donít want a freeway ďtearingĒ through their neighborhoods, most people donít. But it is a necessary piece of infrastructure and it has to go somewhere. If it bothers you that much there are other places to live. This freeway is obviously well used and needed.
Title: Re: Brooklyn-Queens Expressway
Post by: MantyMadTown on March 25, 2019, 02:03:16 AM
As for the fact they donít want a freeway ďtearingĒ through their neighborhoods, most people donít. But it is a necessary piece of infrastructure and it has to go somewhere. If it bothers you that much there are other places to live. This freeway is obviously well used and needed.

If the construction of a new freeway causes hundreds, if not thousands, of people to move, where would they all go? It's not that easy to find new housing in big cities nowadays, especially with the affordable housing crisis we have today. We don't have enough new homes and apartments being built to match the ones potentially being torn down by new freeways, at the same price that homeowners and renters currently have.

Some people don't want to or can't afford to move somewhere else because of the rent they're currently paying, and some of them might have jobs close by so if they have to move somewhere farther away they might not be able to get there easily. There are people who have spent their lives in these neighborhoods and don't want to leave. There's a lot more to building freeways through cities than you realize. This is why urban planners and highway engineers try to avoid as much displacement as they can while thinking about these sort of highway projects.

If you're suggesting to expand the BQE I don't think there's any place you could feasibly expand it in without cutting into the Promenade or Brooklyn Bridge Park.
Title: Re: Brooklyn-Queens Expressway
Post by: Plutonic Panda on March 25, 2019, 06:12:07 AM
^^^ the issue of housing shortages merits its own debate entirely, but in short, Ive always wondered why if demand is so high that developers arenít building more than they currently are. It isnít the governments job to provide housing but it is their job to provide infrastructure. One could make an argument that by not adding the proper capacity and alternative transit modes to urban and suburban areas(allowing for more sprawl) that the government is partially to blame for the housing crisis by this fact alone.

I donít support government build housing nor do I support rent control. With that said, we as a society will need to address the issue of urban housing costs as they are getting out of control. Itís a matter of time before flyover cities see the same insane housing costs that plague the coastal cities. This can only go on for so long. Eventually something is going to give.
Title: Re: Brooklyn-Queens Expressway
Post by: froggie on March 25, 2019, 08:57:00 AM
Quote
Ive always wondered why if demand is so high that developers arenít building more than they currently are.

Far more often than not, the reason is a combination of zoning limitations and NIMBYs.
Title: Re: Brooklyn-Queens Expressway
Post by: The Ghostbuster on March 25, 2019, 01:59:39 PM
I would support replacing the existing BQE with a tunnel, but since that will never happen (like the actually-proposed Gowanus Expressway tunnel being canceled in 2011), hopefully something will be done to improve the expressway (possibly wider lanes, improved off and on ramps, etc.). 
Title: Re: Brooklyn-Queens Expressway
Post by: roadman on March 25, 2019, 04:03:51 PM
Moses' personal statements and behaviors at times did not help.  "Chopping Through with a Meat Axe" is a statement attributed to him.   Have always believed NYC would have been better off overall if the crossmanhattan and Lomex facilities had indeed been built, as either tunneled or depressed routes as much as possible.   

A tunnel is merely a tiled vehicular bathroom smelling faintly of monoxide. - Robert Moses
Title: Re: Brooklyn-Queens Expressway
Post by: Beltway on March 25, 2019, 11:49:15 PM
A tunnel is merely a tiled vehicular bathroom smelling faintly of monoxide. - Robert Moses

Carbon monoxide is odorless and colorless.
Title: Re: Brooklyn-Queens Expressway
Post by: froggie on March 26, 2019, 11:05:39 AM
^ But will still poison you nonetheless...

I believe the quote was intended to highlight Moses' aversion to tunnels.  Remember, he wanted a bridge for the Brooklyn-Battery.
Title: Re: Brooklyn-Queens Expressway
Post by: D-Dey65 on April 20, 2019, 11:32:34 PM
^ But will still poison you nonetheless...

I believe the quote was intended to highlight Moses' aversion to tunnels.  Remember, he wanted a bridge for the Brooklyn-Battery.
This is true. Either way, when I was in Brooklyn recently capturing images of random subway stations, I found a bunch of posters and slightly larger ads for an advocacy group trying to stop the planned reconstruction of the BQE. They were posted mainly in the vicinity of the Hotel St. George, and their slogan was "We Need a Better Way Than a 6-Lane Expressway."
https://abetterway.nyc/

No, what you need is to stop trying to destroy 6-lane Expressways.


Title: Re: Brooklyn-Queens Expressway
Post by: Alps on April 21, 2019, 01:44:02 AM
^ But will still poison you nonetheless...

I believe the quote was intended to highlight Moses' aversion to tunnels.  Remember, he wanted a bridge for the Brooklyn-Battery.
This is true. Either way, when I was in Brooklyn recently capturing images of random subway stations, I found a bunch of posters and slightly larger ads for an advocacy group trying to stop the planned reconstruction of the BQE. They were posted mainly in the vicinity of the Hotel St. George, and their slogan was "We Need a Better Way Than a 6-Lane Expressway."
https://abetterway.nyc/

No, what you need is to stop trying to destroy 6-lane Expressways.



No, they do need a better way than a 6-lane expressway. Like a 10-lane tunnel.
Title: Re: Brooklyn-Queens Expressway
Post by: Verlanka on April 21, 2019, 08:30:16 AM
^ But will still poison you nonetheless...

I believe the quote was intended to highlight Moses' aversion to tunnels.  Remember, he wanted a bridge for the Brooklyn-Battery.
This is true. Either way, when I was in Brooklyn recently capturing images of random subway stations, I found a bunch of posters and slightly larger ads for an advocacy group trying to stop the planned reconstruction of the BQE. They were posted mainly in the vicinity of the Hotel St. George, and their slogan was "We Need a Better Way Than a 6-Lane Expressway."
https://abetterway.nyc/

No, what you need is to stop trying to destroy 6-lane Expressways.



No, they do need a better way than a 6-lane expressway. Like a 10-lane tunnel.
That's true, but where will they put the tunnel?
Title: Re: Brooklyn-Queens Expressway
Post by: ixnay on April 21, 2019, 08:38:17 AM
^ But will still poison you nonetheless...

I believe the quote was intended to highlight Moses' aversion to tunnels.  Remember, he wanted a bridge for the Brooklyn-Battery.

Did Bob want a tunnel where the QMT is?

ixnay
Title: Re: Brooklyn-Queens Expressway
Post by: D-Dey65 on April 21, 2019, 09:53:38 PM
^ But will still poison you nonetheless...

I believe the quote was intended to highlight Moses' aversion to tunnels.  Remember, he wanted a bridge for the Brooklyn-Battery.
This is true. Either way, when I was in Brooklyn recently capturing images of random subway stations, I found a bunch of posters and slightly larger ads for an advocacy group trying to stop the planned reconstruction of the BQE. They were posted mainly in the vicinity of the Hotel St. George, and their slogan was "We Need a Better Way Than a 6-Lane Expressway."
https://abetterway.nyc/

No, what you need is to stop trying to destroy 6-lane Expressways.



No, they do need a better way than a 6-lane expressway. Like a 10-lane tunnel.
You know what, Steve? I actually don't mind the idea of a tunnel, even if it's 8-lanes. Give them a decent clearance level, and they could still work for higher trucks and buses. What I do mind is the idea of demolishing the expressway and creating a freeway gap in the false pretense of saving their neighborhood.



Title: Re: Brooklyn-Queens Expressway
Post by: RobbieL2415 on April 22, 2019, 06:26:24 PM
This is a genuinely fictional idea going off Google Maps. First, eliminate the jog NW bast Tillary St.  Demolish the viaduct from there to Atlantic Ave and build a 6-lane tunnel connecting those two points.  Underground connections are made for the Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges.  The other (and current) option is to use Tillary St. for all bridge connections.  Second, build a 6-lane tunnel from the jct. of the BQE and NY 27 NE to the bend at Park Ave.  Such a tunnel would be built below the Subway tracks.  This would reduce trip time for non-Bridge-bound traffic.

Again, HIGHLY fictional.
Title: Re: Brooklyn-Queens Expressway
Post by: 1995hoo on April 28, 2019, 01:05:56 PM
^ But will still poison you nonetheless...

I believe the quote was intended to highlight Moses' aversion to tunnels.  Remember, he wanted a bridge for the Brooklyn-Battery.

Did Bob want a tunnel where the QMT is?

ixnay

Moses wanted to scrap the plans for the Midtown Tunnel in favor of a bridge but didn't have a lot of choice in the matter because some federal funds had already been approved and would have been jeopardized had the project been delayed to study a bridge. Moreover, at the time there was a separate authority established to build the tunnel; Moses was in charge of the Triboro Bridge Authority, which was the only agency allowed to build and operate a toll bridge entirely within city limits, but his agency didn't have power over the Midtown Tunnel (or its construction) at that time.
Title: Re: Brooklyn-Queens Expressway
Post by: ixnay on April 28, 2019, 05:21:58 PM
Moses was in charge of the Triboro Bridge Authority, which was the only agency allowed to build and operate a toll bridge entirely within city limits, but his agency didn't have power over the Midtown Tunnel (or its construction) at that time.

If I'm reading http://www.nycroads.com/crossings/queens-midtown/ right, the QMT project during its gestation was in the hands of the NYC Tunnel Authority.

ixnay
Title: Re: Brooklyn-Queens Expressway
Post by: 1995hoo on April 28, 2019, 05:25:36 PM
Moses was in charge of the Triboro Bridge Authority, which was the only agency allowed to build and operate a toll bridge entirely within city limits, but his agency didn't have power over the Midtown Tunnel (or its construction) at that time.

If I'm reading http://www.nycroads.com/crossings/queens-midtown/ right, the QMT project during its gestation was in the hands of the NYC Tunnel Authority.

ixnay

I saw a different name given somewhere else, but it boiled down to the same thingóa different agency Moses didnít head (and that he therefore disliked).
Title: Re: Brooklyn-Queens Expressway
Post by: PastTense on June 15, 2021, 11:37:10 AM
Here are some more recent reports:

https://s3.us-east-1.amazonaws.com/rpa-org/pdfs/RPA_Reimagining_the_BQE.pdf

https://www.buildingcongress.com/uploads/BQE_Expert_Panel_Report_v12_digital_distro_reduce.pdf

https://council.nyc.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/NYCC-The-Future-of-the-BQE.pdf

But the latest news from  Mayor Bill de Blasio is that NYC will do some repairs--but leave the major reconstruction up to the next mayor:

https://www.amny.com/transit/mayor-bqe-punt-next-mayor/

Title: Re: Brooklyn-Queens Expressway
Post by: crispy93 on June 15, 2021, 04:11:21 PM
Maybe the locals will be more game if the vertical clearance on the cantilever can be fixed to accommodate trucks. When NYSDOT milled down the pavement on the Grand Central/278 in Astoria, the locals were delighted that a parade of trucks were no longer on surface streets.
Title: Re: Brooklyn-Queens Expressway
Post by: The Ghostbuster on June 16, 2021, 06:21:01 PM
Personally, I would support the tunnel bypass option, despite the great expense it would require. I would make the tunnel large enough for trucks, and implement congestion pricing to keep traffic flowing.
Title: Re: Brooklyn-Queens Expressway
Post by: PastTense on June 16, 2021, 06:35:39 PM
The BQE is part of the interstate highway system and allows trucks. In fact a major factor in the deterioration of the cantilever section of the BQE is large numbers of illegally overweight trucks.

https://brooklyneagle.com/articles/2021/06/10/bill-to-id-penalize-overweight-trucks-on-bqe-passes-legislature/
Title: Re: Brooklyn-Queens Expressway
Post by: mrsman on June 30, 2021, 12:32:30 AM
The BQE is part of the interstate highway system and allows trucks. In fact a major factor in the deterioration of the cantilever section of the BQE is large numbers of illegally overweight trucks.

https://brooklyneagle.com/articles/2021/06/10/bill-to-id-penalize-overweight-trucks-on-bqe-passes-legislature/

Here is a link to the NYC truck map:

https://www1.nyc.gov/html/dot/downloads/pdf/2015-06-08-truck-map-combined.pdf

If one looks at this very carefully, you can see how difficult it is to legally drive a large truck within NYC.  Certainly, they are prohibited from using the parkways.  And only a handful of streets are allowed to carry thru trucks in their stead.

And if you are driving a "53 foot trailer" (I imagine this means tractor/trailer) there is only one legal way to drive from NJ to CT, LI, or JFK airport.  I belive these vehicles are totally illegal on every other highway/street in the city, but perhaps to meet constitutional muster (local laws not unduly burdening interstate commerce), they provide a very specific truck routing for these routes that, practically speaking, must drive through parts of NYC to avoid gigantic detours.

NJ to Conn:  Must stay on I-95 via GWB and Cross-Bronx
NJ to JFK airport: Must use I-95 on GWB and Cross-Bronx and then take the I-678 along the Whitestone Bridge and Van Wyck.  This is far longer than utilizing I-278, especially if strarting in central or southern NJ (and by extension most of the rest of the US)
NJ to Eastern LI:  Must use I-95 on GWB and Cross-Bronx and then take the I-678 along the Whitestone Bridge and Van Wyck to I-495 east.  This is far longer than utilizing I-278 to I-495, especially if strarting in central or southern NJ (and by extension most of the rest of the US)

So while the BQE does allow for trucks generally, the largest trucks are supposed to avoid it and take I-95 instead.
Title: Re: Brooklyn-Queens Expressway
Post by: vdeane on June 30, 2021, 01:15:05 PM
NJ to Eastern LI:  Must use I-95 on GWB and Cross-Bronx and then take the I-678 along the Whitestone Bridge and Van Wyck to I-495 east.  This is far longer than utilizing I-278 to I-495, especially if strarting in central or southern NJ (and by extension most of the rest of the US)
I think you mean I-295/Throgs Neck Bridge.  I-678 has no direct access to I-495 east or from I-495 west.