Statement from Assemblymember Simon and Colleagues on NYC DOT’s BQE Design Proposals, 12-16-2022
Brooklyn, NY - On December 13, 2022 and December 15, 2022 the New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) released design concepts for the 1.5-mile stretch of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway (BQE) from Atlantic Avenue to Sands Street. In response, U.S. Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez, U.S. Congressman-elect Dan Goldman, State Senator Andrew Gounardes, Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon, and Council Member Lincoln Restler released the following statement:
“The rebuilding of the BQE presents us with a once-in-a-generation opportunity to undo decades of environmental racism and community harm, protect our planet, and provide the 21st century infrastructure Brooklynites deserve. With the climate crisis upon us, we must explore options that ensure a just transition away from fossil fuels and greenhouse gasses.
We need to see a more forward-thinking option that re-imagines the entire BQE corridor for the health and well-being of New Yorkers and our planet.
It is also our consensus opinion that any solution must at least achieve two goals: 1) minimizing vehicular traffic to two lanes in each direction and 2) limiting negative impacts on air quality, noise and vibrations, such as maximizing the capping of the roadway.
We recognize that the triple cantilever is falling apart and we support efforts by the Adams’ administration to secure federal funding to address this critical need. Yet any proposal that takes us backward by expanding cars and trucks to three lanes would result in accommodating six million more vehicles annually on the BQE. That is at direct odds with our city and state’s environmental goals. We must encourage forward-thinking policies that consider Bus Rapid Transit and increase regional marine and rail freight movements to minimize long haul trucking on our roadways and bridges.
Finally, we urge the State to participate in this process of re-imagining the entire BQE corridor and address longstanding inequities. We look forward to continuing to work with our city, state, and federal agencies to ensure that the project is consistent with their respective climate change goals and responsive to the community’s concerns.”