June 6, 2023WNYC’s Brian Lehrer Show Hosts AIANY Transportation and Infrastructure Discussion on BQE
Following the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s public program The Brooklyn-Queens Expressway at 75: A Crisis in Context, radio station WNYC featured a discussion with several participants from that event. WNYC host Brian Lehrer spoke with Allen Swerdlowe, FAIA, specialist at the Fulbright Foundation and founding trustee of Brooklyn Bridge Park; Michael Kimmelman, architecture critic for The New York Times and the author of The Intimate City: Walking New York; and Sam Schwartz, former New York City Traffic Commissioner, past President and CEO of Sam Schwartz Engineering, and author of the book No One at the Wheel: Driverless Cars and the Road of the Future.
Prompted by their host, Kimmelman, Schwarz, and Swerdlowe discussed the immediate crisis of the crumbling triple cantilever section of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway (BQE) and the urgent safety concerns prompted by that decay. The group then expanded the discussion beyond the BQE-adjacent Brooklyn Heights neighborhood to stress the importance of a holistic view that includes the sections north and south of Brooklyn Heights, areas where communities have far less resources than what’s available to residents of Brooklyn Heights.
In the words of Kimmelman: “I’m hoping that what happens out of this is that we can address the immediate crisis and deal with the opportunity, as Allen says, ‘To reconnect the waterfront with this neighborhood and other neighborhoods throughout the BQE.’ That we also don’t get hung up only focusing on this little part of the BQE, [the triple cantilever] because that would be not just a missed opportunity, but a huge question of inequitable redevelopment.”
A recording of the full broadcast discussion with Lehrer, Kimmelman, Schwarz, and Swerdlowe has been archived by the Brian Lehrer show and can be heard at the WNYC website.