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A BETTER WAY NYC APPLAUDS COMPTROLLER STRINGER FOR CALLING ON MAYOR DE BLASIO AND DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION COMMISSIONER POLLY TROTTENBERG TO REVISIT FLAWED BQE REHABILITATION PLAN
Comptroller Questions Proposed Plan with Regard to City’s
Commitment to Greenhouse Gas Reduction, the Environment and Modernizing Infrastructure
BROOKLYN, NY—A Better Way NYC – a grassroots, non-profit organization focused on the environmental, economic and community impact of repairing the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway (BQE) – today applauded Comptroller Scott M. Stringer for calling on Mayor Bill de Blasio and Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner Polly Trottenberg to revisit the flawed process behind the proposed rehabilitation.
“Elected to ensure the City’s commitment to efficiency, integrity and performance, Comptroller Stringer is demonstrating the bold leadership that New Yorkers deserve by calling on the DOT to revisit the flawed process behind the proposed rehabilitation of the BQE,” said Hilary Jager of A Better Way NYC. “The Comptroller’s rejection of the City’s ill-conceived plan is a clear call for innovation, progressive action and rejection of the status quo. We look forward to working with Comptroller Stringer, and all of New York’s leaders, to reimagine and rebuild the BQE in a way that positions the city as a global leader on environmental and transportation issues.”
As noted by Comptroller Stringer, the City’s proposed plan to replace the Brooklyn Heights Promenade with an elevated, six-lane highway while repairing the BQE fails to provide long-term improvements to transportation infrastructure that will prepare New York for its future mobility needs, address the city’s worsening traffic woes, and take into account the City’s commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by 2050. The proposed plan would also increase exposure to air pollution and other environmental hazards, remove landmarks and open green space, and destroy an icon beloved by generations of New York City residents and visitors.
The Comptroller noted concern that the plan “was devised without reasonable consideration for concurrent administrative initiatives and goals, sufficient thought to future traffic patterns, and consideration of important community concerns.” In addition to questioning whether the proposed rehabilitation was aligned with the City’s greenhouse reduction initiatives, the Comptroller questioned if the plan took into account:
• Proposed improvements to the city’s rail freight distribution system, which would reduce traffic on the BQE;
• Congestion pricing, including East River bridge tolls, that could further reduce traffic on the BQE; and
• The long-term environmental impact on the surrounding community from property damage, dust and debris.
New Yorkers were stunned when they learned in September that the New York City DOT recommends replacing the Promenade with an elevated highway. The DOT first unveiled that proposal seven months into its Environmental Impact Statement process, which deprived the community of its right to comment on the impacts of the proposal that merit further analysis. To this day, the NYC DOT and the City have remained silent on the environmental consequences that will arise from the construction of a highway on the national landmark, including the impact on air quality, public health, noise, historic resources, open space, neighborhood character, socioeconomic conditions, quality of life and other environmental consequences.
A Better Way NYC is a grassroots, non-profit organization committed to identifying alternatives to the NYC DOT’s proposed BQE redevelopment plan. For more information, please visit www.aBetterWay.nyc