Jump to content

Attention: In order to reply to messages, create topics, have access to other features of the community you must sign up for an account.
Via Garibaldi 8

Corey Johnson proposes breaking up the MTA

Recommended Posts

4 hours ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

I was at the BQE meeting.  That's a done deal.  Removing it entirely would be far too expensive, not to mention the time involved, and the BQE in terms of its lifespan is coming to an end so it needs to be replaced and soon.

Not to mention that removing it really would make traffic worse - since there's no cross-Bk highway to Long Island, and it'd make FDR and Bk-Q roads worse because there'd be no "expressway" connecting the two boroughs.

Great for congestion charges; bad for quality of life and air quality.

I'd be okay if they put it in a tunnel like the Big Dig in Boston and that one in Seattle - Alaskan Way (?).

  • Upvote 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)
8 minutes ago, Union Tpke said:

He was only Acting Public Advocate. He is the Speaker of the City Council, and unlike Mark-Viverito, has stood up against the mayor, and asserted the council's rights.

I can agree with that part. Mark-Viverito was like de Blasio's latch-key dog.

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dunno how feasible a full removal is, but spending 4 billion for the benefit of the 153k that traverse the waterfront section is a waste -- especially when the vast majority of trips are intra-boro or Brooklyn-Queens (ie any decent transit system would be able to capture them), and when there are improvements that could be done with those 4 billion that could do a lot more than simply preserve the status quo...

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Union Tpke said:

YES! SOMEONE GETS  IT!

 

I was very skeptical of the Speaker's plan for municipal control, but his genuine support for the transit and this report have won me over. I hope that it does not hinder integration with the LIRR and MNRR.

INDUCED DEMAND

Induced demand is the idea that creating or expanding roads does not reduce traffic congestion, but rather induces or generates it.766 The assumption is this: more lanes create more room for cars to flow freely and more quickly, thus reducing traffic. However, the creation of more roads or highway lanes actually encourages more people to drive, thus leading to fur- ther road congestion.767 Studies have found that for every one percent increase in highway capacity, traffic also increases 0.29 to 1.1 percent in the long term, which is about five years out and up to 0.68 percent in the short term, which is one to two years out.768 Researchers suggest that this result be taken into consideration as highway planners develop schemes to expand roadways.769

While expanding roads and highways has the effect of induc- ing more traffic, the same is also true in the reverse. Removing highways or reducing the amount of road space that is avail- able for cars and reallocating it for pedestrian use, or to create bus, cycle, or high occupancy vehicle lanes, can reduce traffic congestion and increase attractiveness to other modes of transportation.770 Removing highways allows traffic to disperse more evenly around a city and encourages fewer people to drive.771 It has also led to economic development and an increase in property values for properties that are situated near freeways.772 For example:

In Milwaukee, the city replaced its Park East freeway with a boulevard, which freed up twenty-four acres of space in its downtown neighborhood and attracted $1 billion of private investment in development projects.773

San Francisco replaced its Central Highway with a boulevard, which revitalized the surrounding neighborhood and caused property values within that area to increase.774 According to research, one reason for an increase in property values after highways are removed is the reduction of local traffic within the area.775 San Francisco also replaced its Embarcadero Freeway, which increased employment in the area by 23 percent within a decade.

In Portland, Oregon, when the city replaced its Harbor Drive Freeway with a 37-acre park, property values increased in downtown Portland by a yearly average of 10.4 percent.776

In Seoul, Korea, when the city removed one its elevated ex- pressways, uncovering the stream that was underneath, the stream attracted 90,000 visitors per day within 15 months of its opening.777 Land values also increased by 15 percent and traffic levels were reduced by nine percent after a rapid transit bus system was implemented as part of the project.778

The city of Paris developed a policy to reduce the size of its roads, which increased public transit usage by 20 percent within two decades.779

Most of those examples seem to be stub freeways where it wouldn't affect traffic too much because they're stubs and there are alternative roads. The NY equivalents would be the Prospect Expressway, and Sheridan Expressway.  (The Clearview Expressway Is a stub, but its different.)

7 minutes ago, RR503 said:

Dunno how feasible a full removal is, but spending 4 billion for the benefit of the 153k that traverse the waterfront section is a waste -- especially when the vast majority of trips are intra-boro or Brooklyn-Queens (ie any decent transit system would be able to capture them), and when there are improvements that could be done with those 4 billion that could do a lot more than simply preserve the status quo...

The issue is that NY doesn't have "Decent transit" trips that don't involve Manhattan.  For Example, I can get from Gateway Center to Coney Island in 15 mins on the Belt Parkway, by public transportation it would take about 90+ mins. Closing the Belt parkway wouldn't help with that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, N6 Limited said:

The issue is that NY doesn't have "Decent transit" trips that don't involve Manhattan.  For Example, I can get from Gateway Center to Coney Island in 15 mins on the Belt Parkway, by public transportation it would take about 90+ mins. Closing the Belt parkway wouldn't help with that.

I'm not arguing for closing the Belt. I'm arguing that there are better uses for that 4 billion than rebuilding the BQE...for example, putting together better outer boro transit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, RR503 said:

I'm not arguing for closing the Belt. I'm arguing that there are better uses for that 4 billion than rebuilding the BQE...for example, putting together better outer boro transit.

I know ,I was giving an example, because some think closing highways works in all cases.

As for the BQE, yes, that is a lot of money for that small section. Did they have cheaper alternatives?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, N6 Limited said:

I know ,I was giving an example, because some think closing highways works in all cases.

As for the BQE, yes, that is a lot of money for that small section. Did they have cheaper alternatives?

 

I wouldn't support removing the Belt or the CBE-I said decking it over for a reason. Nor did I say the Van Wyck, which should not be widened.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Union Tpke said:

I wouldn't support removing the Belt or the CBE-I said decking it over for a reason. Nor did I say the Van Wyck, which should not be widened.

Decking over the CBE would be interesting, they should double deck it :P. Why should the GCP between Kew Gardens and Northern Blvd be removed?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
42 minutes ago, N6 Limited said:

Decking over the CBE would be interesting, they should double deck it :P. Why should the GCP between Kew Gardens and Northern Blvd be removed?

It is parallel to the Van Wyck. Tearing it down would provide much better access to Flushing Meadows Corona Park. I once tried to get to the Queens Museum but accidentally walked alongside a highway off ramp. It is a mess there. The easiest way to get there is by driving, which is not good. You could replace it with a surface boulevard, which could be a major bike corridor, and which could be used for BRT, providing fast service between Central and Northwest Queens. Improved access to parkland, and reduced emissions would do a lot.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Union Tpke said:

He is the Speaker of the City Council

And is mulling a 2021 mayoral run. Were he to be elected then, he'd definitely be in a position to reform and overhaul the city's transit

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, RR503 said:

Dunno how feasible a full removal is, but spending 4 billion for the benefit of the 153k that traverse the waterfront section is a waste -- especially when the vast majority of trips are intra-boro or Brooklyn-Queens (ie any decent transit system would be able to capture them), and when there are improvements that could be done with those 4 billion that could do a lot more than simply preserve the status quo...

But that 153k would be on streets trying to go to North Brooklyn and Queens - making congestion worse (especially since DOT will always find a reason to signalize as many intersections as possible).

It was NBD to remove the Embarcadero Freeway in SF - the thing collapsed in 89, and the bulk of Bay Bridge traffic went south while the Embarcadero went to the SF north shore. And for folks that want to avoid SF local traffic, they can go on 101 to 280 and take Highway 1 to the Golden Gate Bridge, or bypass SF altogether and take 580 in Oakland to Marin.

Brooklyn and Queens dont have alternate routes like that. BQE is a necessity for interborough travel. Tunneling it may be expensive, but it's an option that should be explored - even if it's a cut-and-cover. It reconnects the waterfront with the interior, and removes an eyesore.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like Corey Johnson a lot...even when he was a junior council member, he was active at a lot of hearings and put a lot of work into making good changes for his constituents. He also has an interesting back story. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
58 minutes ago, Deucey said:

But that 153k would be on streets trying to go to North Brooklyn and Queens - making congestion worse (especially since DOT will always find a reason to signalize as many intersections as possible).

It was NBD to remove the Embarcadero Freeway in SF - the thing collapsed in 89, and the bulk of Bay Bridge traffic went south while the Embarcadero went to the SF north shore. And for folks that want to avoid SF local traffic, they can go on 101 to 280 and take Highway 1 to the Golden Gate Bridge, or bypass SF altogether and take 580 in Oakland to Marin.

Brooklyn and Queens dont have alternate routes like that. BQE is a necessity for interborough travel. Tunneling it may be expensive, but it's an option that should be explored - even if it's a cut-and-cover. It reconnects the waterfront with the interior, and removes an eyesore.

Demand isn’t inflexible. With the highway gone, the number of car trips taken will be reduced, and thus the congestive impact mitigated. We saw this happen even over the span of a few week long interruption in highway service in Seattle — when their waterfront highway went down, there was no armageddon on I-5, no, Sound Transit boardings skyrocketed. 

Point being, we shouldn’t be spending 4 billion to cement (you see what I did there?) prioritization of the least efficient form of urban transportation. There are good alternatives for through traffic and simple ways of covering the intra-boro market with transit. Imagine what 4 billion could do to the BMT South, or the (G), or the (J)(M)(Z), or the cross-Brooklyn buses... I’m not saying we should tear down all urban highways, just that we need to rethink how we prioritize things like this.

  • Like 1
  • Upvote 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Deucey said:

But that 153k would be on streets trying to go to North Brooklyn and Queens - making congestion worse (especially since DOT will always find a reason to signalize as many intersections as possible).

It was NBD to remove the Embarcadero Freeway in SF - the thing collapsed in 89, and the bulk of Bay Bridge traffic went south while the Embarcadero went to the SF north shore. And for folks that want to avoid SF local traffic, they can go on 101 to 280 and take Highway 1 to the Golden Gate Bridge, or bypass SF altogether and take 580 in Oakland to Marin.

Brooklyn and Queens dont have alternate routes like that. BQE is a necessity for interborough travel. Tunneling it may be expensive, but it's an option that should be explored - even if it's a cut-and-cover. It reconnects the waterfront with the interior, and removes an eyesore.

https://opencommons.uconn.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=&httpsredir=1&article=1103&context=gs_theses

In many cases, however, the idea of freeway removal meets resistance because of concerns that reduction in any road capacity will have negative effects on traffic locally and throughout the city. Over the past two decades a small but growing number of cities throughout North America have completed projects which have resulted in the removal of road capacity from urban areas. Some of these projects are now mature enough that they can provide a more comprehensive understanding of how capacity removal affects traffic flow and distribution.

Prior to the removal of the freeway, it can be seen that the distribution of traffic was very concentrated on the freeway and very low on the neighboring street network. Thus, the local street network had significant excess capacity that was not being utilized because so much traffic was associated with the freeway. However, after the freeway was removed, the distribution of traffic throughout the area became more balanced. The concentration of the traffic on the replacement boulevard decreased while the concentration on many of the other streets increased. This shows that the network is being more uniformly utilized and results in a more balanced network which is not so heavily reliant on one or two select roadways. In other words, San Francisco was able to utilize existing excess capacity to replace the lost freeway capacity. This figure also shows that the intermediate and after distributions are essentially the same which suggests that the removal of the freeway was the primary driving force behind the redistribution.

Removing the urban freeway segments in all three case studies caused traffic in the surrounding area to redistribute, albeit in different ways. The Embarcadero and Park East Freeway corridors both experienced redistributions that were fairly balanced with no excessively high or low V/C ratios. The Central Freeway, however, experienced a redistribution similar to the “before” condition which was still distorted with very high V/C ratios on the replacement boulevard. These results suggest that the specific type of boulevard design may have a significant effect on how the traffic redistributes. Both the Embarcadero Boulevard and McKinley Avenue were fully connected into the street network so that they functioned very similar to the other streets around them. Octavia Boulevard, however, was completely different than all the streets around it with its multi- way boulevard design. This design significantly limited turning movements from the boulevard and in essence forced people to stay on the road until it ended. This design functions similar to a freeway in the sense that there are only limited points at which to exit. This difference in boulevard construction might explain why the distribution of traffic changed in different ways. With the Embarcadero and Park East Freeways, an elevated freeway was replaced with a street which functioned as just another part of the existing local street network. This resulted in a significant change in the route choices in the area which explains the more balanced distribution. The Central Freeway was replaced by a street that still acted as a funnel for traffic in the area, so the distribution of traffic in the area remained distorted. More case studies would need to be incorporated to determine the precise nature of traffic redistribution effects for each road design type, but the results suggest that road design does play a key role in the redistribution process.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, Union Tpke said:

I know that the planning is underway, but now is the time to undo the destruction of the city by the automobile. Even if work was 80% completed on the project, I would be willing to tear it all up to get rid of the highway. Many residents along the BQE in Downtown Brooklyn have signs in their windows arguing for its removal.

Lmao. Right, let's remove one of the most important truck routes in the city, so that all that truck exhaust can go right into people's front yards. Have you even looked at the way the highway is designed? Even if it was shoddily built, the one thing they got right is that the pollution is directed towards the west, instead of the residences in Brooklyn Heights.

Reducing pollution is a good goal, but accomplishing it by removing a freeway here in NYC would do nearly nothing to achieve that. You'll simply displace the road's users to other roads which are less equipped to handle the traffic, and generally operate at lower speeds. The additional car and truck traffic could also have a negative impact on pedestrian safety. Did you ever notice that you can't walk on a freeway? Well, I'd say it's therefore unlikely that you'd get hit by a car on it.

I read "The destruction of the city by the automobile" and thought, ok maybe you've just been taking Streetsblog a little bit too seriously. Then I read "Also [remove], the GCP between Kew Gardens and Northern Boulevard, the Clearview, the Bruckner, ...Mosholu, and the Prospect Expressway." 

All I can say is... Well, thanks. I'm glad you want to make getting around the city much worse than it is today. I'm also glad that your opinions have very minimal practical use.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, P3F said:

Lmao. Right, let's remove one of the most important truck routes in the city, so that all that truck exhaust can go right into people's front yards. Have you even looked at the way the highway is designed? Even if it was shoddily built, the one thing they got right is that the pollution is directed towards the west, instead of the residences in Brooklyn Heights.

What a disappointing argument. Truck traffic comprises 13% of all BQE movements; an even smaller percentage of those are semis. Does this require a conversation about freight in NYC? Yeah. But is it a dealbreaker? No. Something that I’ve seen thrown around is rebuilding just enough to support route-inflexible truck traffic—maybe worth looking into further.

1 hour ago, P3F said:

Reducing pollution is a good goal, but accomplishing it by removing a freeway here in NYC would do nearly nothing to achieve that. You'll simply displace the road's users to other roads which are less equipped to handle the traffic, and generally operate at lower speeds. The additional car and truck traffic could also have a negative impact on pedestrian safety. Did you ever notice that you can't walk on a freeway? Well, I'd say it's therefore unlikely that you'd get hit by a car on it.

Time and again, this has been shown to be untrue. The law of induced demand works both ways. 

Regardless, the point here isn’t so much pollution reduction as it is fiscal responsibility. It spits in the face of reason to spend such massive sums of money just to preserve inefficient infrastructure while so much of our city suffers at the hands of transportational disinvestment. No, we shouldn’t defund highways tomorrow, but when we’re being asked to provide such large sums in such a short time frame, it’s time to take a closer look. 

1 hour ago, P3F said:

All I can say is... Well, thanks. I'm glad you want to make getting around the city much worse than it is today. I'm also glad that your opinions have very minimal practical use.

Asking in general here, is it possible to make progress without accepting some level of suffering? Should our *long term* goal be to preserve a minority/inefficient transportation alternative at any cost? 

Edited by RR503
  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Union Tpke said:

https://opencommons.uconn.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=&httpsredir=1&article=1103&context=gs_theses

In many cases, however, the idea of freeway removal meets resistance because of concerns that reduction in any road capacity will have negative effects on traffic locally and throughout the city. Over the past two decades a small but growing number of cities throughout North America have completed projects which have resulted in the removal of road capacity from urban areas. Some of these projects are now mature enough that they can provide a more comprehensive understanding of how capacity removal affects traffic flow and distribution.

Prior to the removal of the freeway, it can be seen that the distribution of traffic was very concentrated on the freeway and very low on the neighboring street network. Thus, the local street network had significant excess capacity that was not being utilized because so much traffic was associated with the freeway. However, after the freeway was removed, the distribution of traffic throughout the area became more balanced. The concentration of the traffic on the replacement boulevard decreased while the concentration on many of the other streets increased. This shows that the network is being more uniformly utilized and results in a more balanced network which is not so heavily reliant on one or two select roadways. In other words, San Francisco was able to utilize existing excess capacity to replace the lost freeway capacity. This figure also shows that the intermediate and after distributions are essentially the same which suggests that the removal of the freeway was the primary driving force behind the redistribution.

Removing the urban freeway segments in all three case studies caused traffic in the surrounding area to redistribute, albeit in different ways. The Embarcadero and Park East Freeway corridors both experienced redistributions that were fairly balanced with no excessively high or low V/C ratios. The Central Freeway, however, experienced a redistribution similar to the “before” condition which was still distorted with very high V/C ratios on the replacement boulevard. These results suggest that the specific type of boulevard design may have a significant effect on how the traffic redistributes. Both the Embarcadero Boulevard and McKinley Avenue were fully connected into the street network so that they functioned very similar to the other streets around them. Octavia Boulevard, however, was completely different than all the streets around it with its multi- way boulevard design. This design significantly limited turning movements from the boulevard and in essence forced people to stay on the road until it ended. This design functions similar to a freeway in the sense that there are only limited points at which to exit. This difference in boulevard construction might explain why the distribution of traffic changed in different ways. With the Embarcadero and Park East Freeways, an elevated freeway was replaced with a street which functioned as just another part of the existing local street network. This resulted in a significant change in the route choices in the area which explains the more balanced distribution. The Central Freeway was replaced by a street that still acted as a funnel for traffic in the area, so the distribution of traffic in the area remained distorted. More case studies would need to be incorporated to determine the precise nature of traffic redistribution effects for each road design type, but the results suggest that road design does play a key role in the redistribution process.

 

 

I cited SF for this. Unlike places that have done this, there is no direct route between South Bk and Queens that 1) doesn't go through residential areas and 2) separates vehicles from pedestrians.

Dunno the truck usage stats, but there's enough big rig and box truck traffic on the BQE (and Canal St - for comparative sake) that a highway is justified.

I don't think a Sheridan Bl or West St solution is a viable one, but on the same note, rebuilding the route as is isn't necessarily the best solution either.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, RR503 said:

What a disappointing argument. Truck traffic comprises 13% of all BQE movements; an even smaller percentage of those are semis. Does this require a conversation about freight in NYC? Yeah. But is it a dealbreaker? No. Something that I’ve seen thrown around is rebuilding just enough to support route-inflexible truck traffic—maybe worth looking into further.

Time and again, this has been shown to be untrue. The law of induced demand works both ways. 

Regardless, the point here isn’t so much pollution reduction as it is fiscal responsibility. It spits in the face of reason to spend such massive sums of money just to preserve inefficient infrastructure while so much of our city suffers at the hands of transportational disinvestment. No, we shouldn’t defund highways tomorrow, but when we’re being asked to provide such large sums in such a short time frame, it’s time to take a closer look. 

Asking in general here, is it possible to make progress without accepting some level of suffering? Should our *long term* goal be to preserve a minority/inefficient transportation alternative at any cost? 

In general your theory isn't too off, but the issues lie within the details. I'll write a more detailed response later today.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've always thought the BQE should be replaced with a tunnel under 3rd and Ashland/Navy, because the loop via the Brooklyn waterfront is both bad for neighborhoods and needlessly circuitous. The only problem is where'd you put the northern portal.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mayoral candidate Scott Stringer is trying to outdo Corey Johnson, and though it is outside the purview of his position as Comptroller, he has come up with an excellent plan to reduce the BQE to two lanes between Hamilton and the Brooklyn Bridge and to limit that section to trucks, and then decking this section over. This is a great compromise. I cannot recall a time that two political candidates tried to outdo each other over improving transit.

https://comptroller.nyc.gov/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/BQE-Proposal-Comptroller-Stringer.pdf

https://comptroller.nyc.gov/newsroom/comptroller-stringer-proposes-new-vision-for-bqe-reconstruction/

BQE-Presentation_sq.png

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
13 minutes ago, Union Tpke said:

Mayoral candidate Scott Stringer is trying to outdo Corey Johnson, and though it is outside the purview of his position as Comptroller, he has come up with an excellent plan to reduce the BQE to two lanes between Hamilton and the Brooklyn Bridge and to limit that section to trucks, and then decking this section over. This is a great compromise. I cannot recall a time that two political candidates tried to outdo each other over improving transit.

https://comptroller.nyc.gov/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/BQE-Proposal-Comptroller-Stringer.pdf

https://comptroller.nyc.gov/newsroom/comptroller-stringer-proposes-new-vision-for-bqe-reconstruction/

BQE-Presentation_sq.png

 

I guess here's one more individual who is unqualified to be Mayor. Good to keep track.

"I cannot recall a time that two political candidates tried to outdo each other over improving transit."

Where in any of this do you see that transit is going to be improved? Since you are so excited about demolishing transportation infrastructure, why don't you show me exactly how the transit situation in Red Hook and Cobble Hill would improve with this "plan"?

FYI, the highway can be decked over without screwing over drivers for no reason.

Edited by P3F
  • Upvote 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, P3F said:

I guess here's one more individual who is unqualified to be Mayor. Good to keep track.

"I cannot recall a time that two political candidates tried to outdo each other over improving transit."

Where in any of this do you see that transit is going to be improved? Since you are so excited about demolishing transportation infrastructure, why don't you show me exactly how the transit situation in Red Hook and Cobble Hill would improve with this "plan"?

FYI, the highway can be decked over without screwing over drivers for no reason.

There is global precedent for highway eliminations reducing car trips; that alone is a massive positive in and of itself. This principle does not of course apply to truck trips; it’s great they were cognizant of that. 

4 billion dollars isn’t an insignificant sum of money, and it isn’t a sum of money that we can duplicate easily to achieve some middling “everyone’s happy” solution. If not spent on non-essential, inefficient, high cost infrastructure, it could be spent on real, beneficial improvements — like high frequency off peak bus service, or better subway service, or new routes, or accessibility treatments. or transit improvements for (gasp) Red Hook and Cobble Hill (BRT to Red Hook, anyone?). The fact of the matter is that the areas most dependent on the BQE all have majority transit modal mixes; to spend such an outrageous sum of money on a minority while the majority’s mode is less than perfect (and, I hate to say it, when everyone is being placed in danger by the pollution of said minority) is bad planning. 

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A couple of notes. Congestion pricing would reduce bridge shopping, and traffic on that section of the BQE (Which could help with that "New Vision" plan).  But, lets also not forget that the Hugh Carey Tunnel is only 4 lanes, 2 in each direction, it may become just as much of a bottleneck as the two lanes that that go into the trench. 

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, RR503 said:

There is global precedent for highway eliminations reducing car trips; that alone is a massive positive in and of itself. This principle does not of course apply to truck trips; it’s great they were cognizant of that. 

4 billion dollars isn’t an insignificant sum of money, and it isn’t a sum of money that we can duplicate easily to achieve some middling “everyone’s happy” solution. If not spent on non-essential, inefficient, high cost infrastructure, it could be spent on real, beneficial improvements — like high frequency off peak bus service, or better subway service, or new routes, or accessibility treatments. or transit improvements for (gasp) Red Hook and Cobble Hill (BRT to Red Hook, anyone?). The fact of the matter is that the areas most dependent on the BQE all have majority transit modal mixes; to spend such an outrageous sum of money on a minority while the majority’s mode is less than perfect (and, I hate to say it, when everyone is being placed in danger by the pollution of said minority) is bad planning. 

Anyone with a brain would look at a map, see the two disconnected segments of the highway, and simply choose the best-looking route to bridge them. Maybe Smith Street or 3rd Avenue, or they could go all the way to Columbia/Furman. Removing such a small section of the highway isn't enough for the drive to be inconvenient enough not to drive.

You understand subway operations relatively well, so it's weird that you don't see the obvious when it comes to road design. The bridge over the Gowanus has five lanes - four normal, one HOV. If you get rid of the Cobble Hill section, you'll have five lanes going into three (two normal and one HOV). This is known as a "bottleneck", where traffic volumes fit for a road with a large capacity have to fit into a road with less capacity. This results in very slow moving traffic before the bottleneck, and more than likely the Tunnel will also be stuffed due to the traffic light at its northern end. I'm sure the residents of northwestern Red Hook and southern Cobble Hill will be very grateful for all the extra exhaust you're sending their way.

A "global precedent" is nice, but most of these "global precedents" aren't in Brooklyn. The transit in NYC is comprehensive to the point that the majority for whom a transit trip is feasible, are already taking transit. Removing the highway would therefore have a significant negative impact on travel times (try getting from Sheepshead Bay to Williamsburg in 30 minutes on public transit).

This rehab is funded by the city, which as I'm sure you know isn't exactly willing to pony over extra money to the MTA. So all of your "real, beneficial improvements" such as "high frequency off peak bus service, or better subway service, or new routes, or accessibility treatments" are, as usual, relying on unrealistic optimism that the money would be diverted in a way that it never has been.

Finally, you have been consistently acting as if the $4 billion price tag is supposed to be some kind of deterrent. Let's look at what we're getting: a rebuild of a section of the only north-south freeway in Brooklyn, with complex engineering required. And at the end, the Promenade will be twice as wide. If this rebuild lasts longer than all of us will be alive, I have no problem with the money being invested now.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.