Heights Homes Could Be Taken in BQE Fix

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It’s Robert Moses all over again! As it prepares for the reconstruction of the triple-cantilever portion of the BQE that below the Brooklyn Heights Promenade, the State Department of Transportation is considering taking some historic homes in the area by eminent domain and demolishing them, reports The Brooklyn Paper. While project manager Peter King calls the destruction option unlikely, it hasn’t been ruled out. It is well-established that the public sector has the authority to acquire properties for public purposes, he said. It would be premature to rule out anything, and a violation of process to start discounting things. The cantilevered highway was designed to last 50 years and is now approaching 70. Other voices urged not jumping the gun. We are talking about a 10-year process and we’re in year one,” Rob Perris, the district manager of Community Board 2. “It is conceivable that there could be alignments that result in property being taken, but from the standpoint of today that seems highly unlikely. If the prospect of eminent domain does emerge, expect an ugly fight from a powerful group of property owners. Robert Moses isn’t here now, and if a new Moses emerges, we have practice, said Judy Stanton, the executive director of the Brooklyn Heights Association. We know what to do.
State Mulling Taking Heights Homes for BQE Repair [Brooklyn Paper]

32 Comment

  • It’d be a better idea to take 1 Brooklyn Bridge Park by eminent domain, demolish the thing with the intention of widening the BQE on the bend there, delay, and then scrap the whole project.

  • But wait I thought you all were totally ok with Eminent domain being used for projects that had a public benefit like roads and schools??????????????

  • This will be fun.

  • *yawn*

    As if; ‘taint 1962.

    How does this even warrant a story?

    “While project manager Peter King calls the destruction option unlikely, it hasn’t been ruled out.”

    Umm, OK…so if a state department has impure thoughts, lets see what we can stir up…

    *yawn*

  • It would be a shame if it did happen, but at least in this instance, we aren’t talking about taking property to build a stupid ass arena.

  • I heard Commissioner Sadik-Khan is thinking of seizing the BQE by eminent domain and replacing it with a big-ass bike lane.

  • “expect an ugly fight from a powerful group of property owners”

    LMAO. Understatement. Never. Not in a million years. It will never happen. The only area less likely to use homes to eminent domain is the UES.

  • The likelihood of this happening is very low, unless there is some terrible cataclysm or national emergency. Brooklyn Heights is on the National Register of Historic Places. The review process for demolishing perfectly intact historic buildings would be endless. The lawsuits would be endless. This is the least of our worries.
    The rebuilding of the Brooklyn Bridge ramps for the nest four years, on the other hand, IS a concern. Expect mayhem on that already fraught bridge. In my lifetime this is fourth time they have rebuilt the ramps.

  • use homes = lose homes

    Idiot!

  • dittoburg, the same (preliminary) alignment that has some North Heights owners in a froth does go through 1BBP. I got a mental picture something like the High Line.

  • Never ever going to happen.

  • “The only area less likely to use homes to eminent domain is the UES”

    Was it not used to acquire some properties along the neven-never 2nd Av subway line?

  • Yeah, because 2nd Ave is just like 5th Ave and Madison and Park Ave, CMU. I love walking along 2nd Ave and admiring the limestone mansions and wonderfully detail pre-war co-op buildings.
    Wait…wat?

  • Why does it need to happen? The traffic problems of the BQE are not caused by this particular section of the highway. Widening the exit ramps, or the shoulders here really won’t make much difference. Most of the tie ups, at least when I have to be on this slightly moving parking lot, seem to come from too many people coming off the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges onto the BQE. Both of those occur nowhere near that part of the Heights.

  • The BQE is falling down here and needs to be replaced. I think it’s okay to present every option. You can’t not present things just because rich people live there. And, I hate to say it, but if they propose tearing down those Poplar St buildings and taking Squibb in order to BURY the BQE, I would not be automatically opposed.

    Also, I’m glad I’m not trying to sell, say, the sweet little house next to Chapin. This is something real to have hanging over the head of a 2mm+ property.

    Also, this is why neighbors should be thankful for Judy Stanton & Co.

  • “Yeah, because 2nd Ave is just like 5th Ave and Madison and Park Ave”

    BoHill replied for me, CMU. I was thinking of Fifth, Madison and Park, from the 60s to the low 90s. I didn’t really have east of Park in mind.

  • Ringo, I’m sure there are several regular posters on this blog who would love nothing more than to see half the Heights wiped out by the BQE. But the Heights is protected against this exact sort of thing by its National Register listing so I don’t think those posters should celebrate yet.
    This stretch of the highway is antiquated. It does not conform to modern highway mandates including the lack of merge lanes at the Atlantic Avenue on-ramp, lack of safety barriers along the edges, and lack of noise barriers. They are going to have to figure out how much to do given the constraints.

  • That Atlantic ave. on-ramp is hairy. You need a Porsche to safely get out before something comes round the bend.

    The only Queens-bound hold ups on this dilapidated stretch come from cars queuing in the middle lane trying to get into the bridge exit lanes. It could be fixed with simple plastic dividers.

  • Pretty sure Squibb and Chapin aren’t in the historic district, and if they had to take a house (or that row of 60s townhouses along Poplar) in the district to complete the entire project, pretty sure they’d take that to court. And if the end result would be a buried BQE from dumbo through carroll gardens, they might have substantial support.

    I’m 99.9% sure they’re not going to do this, but I never say never in this city

  • The Unites States Federal Government does not believe in easy fixes.

  • Thank god for Judy Stanton! This can never be allowed to happen.

  • It is a matter of life and death.

    If you’ve got 675 accidents on a 1 mile stretch of road, people are going to get killed.

    Not to mention the huge costs in wasted labor from people who get stuck in lengthy traffic jams.

    Let’s face it: The structure is obsolete. The entrance ramps at Atlantic require you to guess what traffic is in your lane through a blind curve and requires a merge within two or three seconds — totally unsafe.

    And knocking down a few $2-3 million brownstones is a small price to pay for saving 5-10 people

  • “And knocking down a few $2-3 million brownstones is a small price to pay for saving 5-10 people ”

    Just the sort of iditoic rationale that has led to our corrupted built environment. If the highway is unsafe at the speeds people are driving at, drop the speed limit or let ‘em crash. There’s nothing that bad about the BQE that good driving habits can’t fix.

  • “If the highway is unsafe at the speeds people are driving at, drop the speed limit or let ‘em crash. There’s nothing that bad about the BQE that good driving habits can’t fix.”

    Yes that is how you fix the problem. I also like to bury my head under my 600 Egyptian cotton.

  • the current BQE doesn’t meet height and width standards for interstate highways. they will be making it wider and lowering it to get under the immovable Brooklyn Bridge entrance ramps/approaches-which when they are rebuilding also will be raised slightly. Not only is the Heights historic it was the FIRST City landmark area within the City and has a sight plain that is also landmarked. The rules REQUIRE the DOT to “consider” all alternatives. The chance any brownstone will be taken is also nil to none.
    The State DOT is in charge of the project not the Feds….

  • The State DOT must conform to Federal requirements when any state or federal money is involved.

  • Minard Lafever – Really? I actually do not think their is a single regular poster on B’stoner who legitimately would advocate wiping out “half of the Heights” for the BQE – could you tell us who you had in mind?

  • dittoburg:

    I’m all for bulldozing Carroll Gardens simply due to the insipid “Pardon Me For Asking” blog. Brooklyn Heights however is nice – probably one of my favorite urban areas in the country. It is a prime example of what the rest of Brooklyn could be if it wasn’t for the busybodies on the internet condemning every new brick laid down in the borough.

    Maybe they can reroute the BQE through Carroll Gardens, Fort Greene and then through Clinton Hill? That would be awesome. Screw the bridge access.

  • Eminent Domain, yeah, why dont they use that for 187 7th ave, that rotted Landmark Tavern Building…

    for god sake!!

  • who let the dawg out?

  • Polemicist, how did you forgot to mention putting the rerouted BQE through that crapola Atlantic Yards?

  • “Robert Moses isn’t here now, and if a new Moses emerges, we have practice,” said Judy Stanton, the executive director of the Brooklyn Heights Association. “We know what to do.”

    Cobble Hill take notice! Brooklyn Heights knew what to do last time and Cobble Hill did not, thus the 1 mile trench by Hicks.