First weekend closure of BQE brings packed roads, lots of traffic agents to Brooklyn
BROOKLYN HEIGHTS — The first weekend closure of the Queens-bound lanes of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway between Atlantic Avenue and Sand Street brought traffic jams that extended from Brooklyn Heights to Park Slope, and honking horns, especially on the rainy Saturday. Numerous exit ramps were closed and Staten Island-bound traffic was reduced to one lane as well.
Traffic control agents stationed on local streets helped manage the detours, however. Furman Street was made one-way southbound from Old Fulton Street to Atlantic Avenue, which helped take some of the pressure off. MTA’s Variable Message Signs were posted throughout Staten Island, Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan to warn vehicles to stay away.
Traffic congestion seemed worse on Saturday than on Sunday, locals said.
“The roads are packed. Emergency vehicles are having a tough time getting through,” Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon wrote in a group email on Saturday. “So if you don’t have to, please rely on the subway. Because of traffic, buses are also very slow,” she added.
The intersection of Atlantic Avenue and Hicks Street was particularly busy on Saturday, and traffic was slow at Atlantic and Clinton, along with the Cadman Plaza exit from the Brooklyn Bridge. Henry Street was called “a mess” on Saturday by posters on NextDoor, as was Hicks Street, where it took about half an hour to travel a couple of blocks.
There was noticeably less horn honking on Sunday, and traffic control agents were posted at Atlantic and Henry Street, Atlantic and Clinton Street, and Henry and Joralemon streets. Agents were also posted at various locations on Cadman Plaza West and on Old Fulton Street near Brooklyn Bridge Park, as well as other locations.
Over the weekend, DOT crews installed concrete on the BQE deck at the Grace Court and Clark Street spans.
“Crews worked in the rain yesterday to make repairs to the BQE, keeping the triple cantilever safe. Thank you to the workers and all who opted for other modes of transportation so the work could be done,” DOT said on Twitter/X on Sunday. The weekend repair work will continue into the fall, depending on weather.
Adding to the problem of getting around, some subways were out of service or rerouted due to train work. This included the Q train, which has not been running for several weekends, and the A and C line at High Street’s Cadman Plaza West side, which was closed for escalator replacement.
Françoise, a longtime Brooklynite who did not want her last name published, told the Eagle, “After the city urged us nonstop to use mass transit, they suspended subway lines! Brilliant! The A train was not running! It’s a good thing the B-45 bus stops right outside our door.” She said she took the B-45 to Crown Heights and experienced no traffic issues, and added that she did not hit any delays driving on Sunday from Prospect Heights to Bedford-Stuyvesant.
“We had a church event on Sunday that was just a quick jaunt down Washington Avenue to Nostrand. Took us less than 20 minutes and the only delay was the occasional red light,” she said.
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