Opinions on the BQE?
North Brooklyn Parks Alliance does community outreach to modernize
The infamous Brooklyn highway – the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway (BQE) – is being reimagined, and for residents, there’s an opportunity to use your voice.
Since 1937, the borough has been divided by the daunting transportation infrastructure, envisioned by Robert Moses, which either cut a trench or built an elevated highway bifurcating historic neighborhoods.
Nearly a century later, North Brooklyn Parks Alliance (NBK Parks) is conducting community outreach in Greenpoint and Williamsburg as a participant in NYC Department of Transportation’s new effort to modernize the BQE across its entire corridor. NBK Parks was selected as a “BQE Community Partner” by NYC DOT through an open, competitive application process last fall.
The BQE partnership builds on longstanding collaborations between NBK Parks and transportation agencies across multiple levels of government that explore the intersection of transportation and open space. For example, over the last three years, NBK Parks has acted as a Public Plaza and Open Streets Partner with NYC DOT, collaborating on the creation of a new network of open spaces that connect our existing parks and playgrounds to the streets that surround them.
NBK Parks also worked hand-in-glove with New York State Department of Transportation (NYS DOT) to design, build, and operate Under the K Bridge Park – the first public park of its kind that transformed seven acres of formerly abandoned space underneath the Kosciuszko Bridge. The park’s community-driven design framework evolved over several years of public engagement between 2017-2019 that included walking tours, visioning workshops and public programs. Under the K Bridge Park broke ground in May 2020 and opened to the public on June 6, 2021, when NBK Parks began managing and operating the space in partnership with NYSDOT.
NBK Parks’ current approach as a BQE Vision Community Partner follows a similar strategy of access and engagement, spanning multiple digital and in-person opportunities to attract the broadest range of participants and ideas. This month NBK Parks kicks off a series of public BQE workshops that will be open and accessible to all. These are the meetings:
- Virtual Meeting
Wednesday, February 15
Via Zoom (Pre-Registration Required)
- Lunch & Learn
Saturday, February 25
75 Thomas St (Waste Management HQ)
- Drop-In Open House
Saturday, March 4
1:00 – 5:00 PM
86 Kent Ave (Bushwick Inlet Park Building)
Free Childcare + Polish, Spanish, & Yiddish Interpretation
“From Under the K to BQGreen, NBK Parks has long championed innovative ideas on how our community can adapt and reuse the BQE to improve our neighborhood. Because of the scale and state of the BQE, however, these extraordinary interventions felt impossible; today, we are more confident than ever that change is on the highway horizon.”
Katie Denny Horowitz, Executive Director, North Brooklyn Parks Alliance
“NYC DOT is moving forward to fix the BQE in Brooklyn and is committed to working with neighborhoods along the highway to set a shared vision for this project. Currently, communities divided by the BQE experience increased noise and air pollution, while also having limited access to jobs and other important resources. We support this effort to reconnect communities divided by the BQE, which starts with us coming together to shape the future of this transit corridor.”
New York City Department of Transportation
“As a longtime Greenpoint resident, I am eager to engage my fellow neighbors who live near the BQE North corridor, whether they use the highway daily, cross under it on errands, or are affected by quality of life issues related to it. I’m hopeful that our outreach to PTA’s, senior centers, and various community groups will yield an abundance of actionable solutions to make BQE North safer and more neighborhood-friendly.”
Konstancja Maleszyńska, BQE Outreach Consultant, North Brooklyn Parks Alliance
About North Brooklyn Parks Alliance
North Brooklyn Parks Alliance (NBK Parks) was founded in 2003 as the Open Space Alliance. Twenty years later, NBK Parks remains dedicated to its mission to create an equitable, accessible, and vibrant parks & open space system in North Brooklyn. NBK Parks is the only parks conservancy in NYC with a district-wide mandate encompassing multiple parks and open spaces across jurisdictions—as opposed to a single park or parcel—and works closely with government agencies, elected officials, community organizations, and volunteer groups to further its mission.
Leave a Comment
Leave a Comment