Greenpoint, October, 2015

Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Providence-Krasnoyarsk Connector

Photo by Dave Watts
You may be wondering, with some justification, what this modest 1982 photograph from Providence, Rhode Island, has to do with the BQE. Fair question. But before we get to the answer, we need to define the problem. As a recent article in The New York Times dramatized (with some great quotes, by the way), the BQE is in desperate need of rehabilitation, repair, or replacement. But, given the budget woes in Albany and New York City, the DOT has announced that, for the foreseeable future, it will get only small-scale repairs on an as-needed basis.

I drive on this?
As the Times story details, the BQE was built for much less traffic than it (mis)handles today. The lanes through Downtown Brooklyn and Brooklyn Heights are just 10 1/2 feet wide rather than the now standard 12 feet. Apparently, our automobiles, like ourselves, were smaller in those days. The State is even canceling a study for the replacement for the section of the expressway that passes under the Brooklyn Heights Promenade on two cantilevered levels (shown during construction at right).

Alright, I understand money is as tight as Mitt Romney's smile. But damn it, I stand with Newt on this. Now is not the time to shy from grandiose (and verb-i-ose) projects, the kind that made this country great. In future posts, we'll travel to Providence and, yes, to Krasnoyarsk, Siberia (where they can see Sarah Palin's megalomania from their houses) to propose a solution to the BQE problem in keeping with the spirit of American Exceptionalism instead of Obama-esqque Acceptdefeatism.

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