BQE repair plan panned by Windsor Terrace, Kensington residents

They fear invasion of trucks during weekend reroutings

September 29, 2022 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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WINDSOR TERRACE — A plan to close much of the BQE during three weekends next year and divert traffic onto local streets has met with some real opposition in the Windsor Terrace and Kensington areas, published reports say.

As the Brooklyn Eagle reported earlier this month, traffic from the BQE, which carries more than 150,000 vehicles a day, will be rerouted along streets including Atlantic, Third, Fourth and Flatbush avenues and smaller local streets, according to a Department of Transportation slide show distributed to local community groups. 

The diverted traffic will include tractor trailer trucks and other oversized commercial vehicles, the DOT said.

These repairs are designed to shore up the deteriorated triple cantilever underpinning the Brooklyn Heights Promenade until the city and state settle on a full redesign. DOT engineers told Brooklyn residents in 2017 that this section of the BQE from Sands Street to Atlantic Avenue is so decrepit it needs to be replaced before 2026, or tens of thousands of trucks daily will be rerouted through Brooklyn’s residential streets. 

According to the plan, Staten Island-bound traffic will be rerouted from Flushing Avenue along Washington, Atlantic and Third avenues; or from Sands Street along Gold Street, Flatbush and Fourth avenues. Another detour will run from Vine to Furman streets.

Queens-bound traffic will be rerouted along Atlantic Avenue to Boerum Place and Tillary Street;  Third and Flatbush avenues to Tillary Street; and Gowanus Expressway to Hicks Street, Atlantic Avenue to Boerum Place/Adams Street to Tillary Street.

Connections to the Nassau, Van Wyck and Long Island expressways will be routed along the Prospect Expressway, Caton Avenue and Linden Boulevard. It is precisely the possibility of trucks overwhelming Linden Boulevard by way of Fifth Avenue and Caton Avenue, in between Green-Wood Cemetery and Prospect Park, that had the Kensington and Windsor Terrace residents worried at a meeting last week.

NY1 News quoted Amanda Ritchie, who lives on East Fifth Street in Windsor Terrace, as saying, “This is a residential street. It’s not a truck route.” She worried that once construction on the BQE begins in March, all trucks will be diverted to the Prospect Expressway.

“Nighttime is really dangerous for vulnerable road users like pedestrians and cyclists, and there have been too many crashes in this corridor already that have injured and killed people,” another Windsor Terrace resident said, according to NY1.

“These are places where thousands and thousands of families and children traverse every day,” state Assemblyman Robert Carroll was quoted as saying by the local news outlet. “And they’re already busy roadways. Now, adding possibly tens of thousands of trucks over select weekends would be a real disaster.”

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