Green Makeover of Brooklyn-Queens Expressway

"Green Canopy" proposal for the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway (BQE), Courtesy Starr Whitehouse

The proposals are in after Monday’s final public meeting to decide the future of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway trench which severs the Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill, and Columbia Street Waterfront neighborhoods of Brooklyn. Residents spoke up and prioritized their wishes for a less disruptive BQE including reduced noise and pollution, increased neighborhood connectivity and bike / pedestrian safety, and an overall greener streetscape.

In short, the BQE is going green, or at least as green as a pollution-spewing six-lane highway can be.  Luckily the NYC EDC, NYC DOT, and Starr Whitehouse Landscape Architects have come up with three compelling design solutions to improve the area.

Here’s some good news on the coming makeover of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway.

There are 3 proposals remaining now, all of them will help green the 6-lane highway (if you don’t count all the cars driving on it), but they do so to different degrees.

The greenest option (or “dream scheme”) includes a heavily landscaped streetscape, a number of pedestrian bridges over the highway, extensive buffering to mitigate noise and pollution, solar panels that could bring in $312,000 worth of electricity annually, and even retail space above the highway.

Of course, the best option comes with a bigger price tag, but as The Architect’s Newspaper writes: “Cost to cover the highway with a giant metal mesh? $78.8 to $82.7 million.  Cost to forget about the BQE forever? Priceless.”

Read much more about the three proposals and see numerous graphics depicting the different options via The Architect’s Newspaper: Envisioning a Green Future for the BQE.

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Image via The Architect’s Newspaper

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