Brooklyn Heights Association BQE


Elected Officials Demand Answers from DOT on BQE Plan

In an early Christmas present to the community, key elected officials – Comptroller Scott Stringer. Representative Nydia Velazquez, Senator Brian Kavanagh, Assembly Member Jo Ann Simon and Council Member Stephen Levin - have stepped forward to demand greater transparency from DOT regarding the alternatives the agency explored - or perhaps more pointedly, not explored - to rebuilding the BQE.


In their joint statement released today, Velazquez, Kavanagh, Simon and Levin acknowledge that they have been deluged by local residents with concerns about the environmental impact of the 6-lane Promenade Highway, as well as of the traffic congestion that would be caused by the alternative lane-by-lane rebuilding option. They demanded that the Administration fully consider all plausible alternatives, including the concept for a Parallel Highway advanced by the BHA, prior to the Federal, State and City approvals that will be necessary.


They also stated that “we appreciate that DOT has agreed to examine alternative solutions beyond the existing proposals, including a thorough analysis of the Brooklyn Heights Association’s proposal [for] a temporary bypass highway away from Heights’ residences, using the Brooklyn Bridge Park side of Furman Street…. We look forward to seeing DOT’s timely analysis of the feasibility and impacts of this option and of any additional options that DOT or others may identify.”


BHA President Martha Bakos Dietz responded that “we truly appreciate that our elected officials have listened to their constituents and are committed, as is the Brooklyn Heights Association, to ensuring a real examination of other options to the 6-lane Promenade Highway and the traditional lane-by-lane approach that are now DOT’s only options.  It is significant that this group of elected officials have asserted that DOT cannot do what it has proposed without approvals from the three levels of government they represent.”


In a letter this week to the Mayor and DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg, Comptroller Scott Stringer chastised the Administration for its tepid effort to minimize the impacts of the project on adjacent communities and charged that DOT “has failed to engage the surrounding neighborhoods in a substantive manner, has not been sufficiently transparent regarding alternatives … and has eliminated alternatives from further consideration in a cursory manner.”  


Stringer’s letter concluded with a firm request that the Mayor “make every effort to devise a plan that reduces the impact on local residents, homes and properties, open spaces, and landmarks” and that the “planning … be carried out in conjunction with neighborhood representatives….” (See the Daily News coverage


Stringer also challenged DOT’s refusal to timely release documents requested by the community on the process behind the agency’s decision to promote a temporary 6-lane highway on the Promenade while the BQE is rebuilt below. The BHA and A Better Way both filed Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) requests for these documents, but incredibly, DOT responded that they would not be fulfilled until July 29, 2018.  Stringer also requested that DOT provide these documents much sooner.


The BHA appreciates the community’s invaluable role in spurring the latest actions by our elected officials.  With your continuing engagement, we will work together to stop the destructive Promenade Highway.



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Brooklyn Heights Association
55 Pierrepont Street #17D
Brooklyn, NY 11201-2447
United States

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