By Dennis Holt
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
BROOKLYN — We have previously commented in this space about the horrible decision by the city and state not to rebuild the BQE from Sands Street to Atlantic Avenue. In the long run, stopgap repairs will be more expensive than to do the job right.
One could spend hours talking about all the victims this misguided decision will harm. Much more is involved than bringing an outdated highway up to standards and making sure it will last.
One of the victims is Brooklyn Bridge Park, specifically the Atlantic Avenue entrance at Pier 6. Everyone has known for years that the haphazard exits and entrances to the BQE are very people-unfriendly and very dangerous. The area could be fixed by itself, but decisions to do so were postponed in anticipation of a complete BQE overhaul.
Well, there isn’t going to be any comprehensive rebuilding. City decisions last week to bandage this serious situation mean that people will continue to be obliged to negotiate those hazardous entrances and exits to the park.
City Councilman Brad Lander deserves applause for pushing for the changes that will be made this summer, but he knows they are not really adequate.
A plan exists for fixing the problems, and it should be implemented independently of anything else before somebody gets killed, which is sure to happen.
One of the major steps needed is to square away the northbound BQE exit onto Atlantic Avenue and the northbound ramp from Atlantic to the northbound BQE. A new signaling system will have to be created that will completely stop vehicles entering the BQE, which has to include the lights at Hicks Street.
Pedestrians must have the unchallenged right to cross Hicks Street and the entrance and exit ramps without fear of vehicles turning the corner. Perhaps such a system can exist only at peak park-visiting hours. Also, efforts must be made to improve the intersections of Furman and Columbia streets.
Band-Aids and Elmer's Glue are not good enough to fix this serious problem.