Residents protest plan to put BQE atop Brooklyn Heights Promenade

January 12, 2019 - 3:21 pm

NEW YORK (1010 WINS) – Hundreds of people protested in Brooklyn Heights Saturday over a plan to replace the scenic promenade there with an elevated highway as the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway undergoes reconstruction.

The demonstrators, which included many parents with small children, showed up despite the cold to voice their dismay over the plan by the city Department of Transportation.

They say they don’t like any of the proposals that have been put out by the DOT and that the agency hasn’t been transparent. All of the DOT proposals call for building right atop the promenade.

Residents fear fumes from the busy stretch of roadway, which sees upwards of 150,000 vehicles a day, will smother their neighborhoods, putting people’s health at risk.

“We reject the six-lane promenade highway,” their spokesman, Brooklyn Heights Association president Peter Bray, said. “We demand a solution that does not destroy our neighborhoods.”

 The Brooklyn Heights Association has proposed building a temporary, two-tiered road that would be parallel to the promenade while a 1.5-mile stretch of the BQE is reconstructed over the course of several years.

In an interview last month, Pulitzer Prize-winning author and health expert Laurie Garrett told the New York Post that the DOT’s proposal would unleash dangerous fumes on neighborhoods.

“It removes the lid on a stew pot of chemicals, which means they will go right into Brooklyn Heights and Dumbo,” she said.