Those who regularly commute along a crumbling span of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway might want to start searching for a new route. The rapidly deteriorating road—a major artery that connects three boroughs—may see its six traffic lanes slimmed to four, along with a slew of other changes, if the recommendations by a group of civic, transit, and engineering experts are adopted by the city.
“By simply replicating what we have, we’re going to replicate the traffic jams we already have,” said Rachel Weinberger, a senior fellow of transportation at the Regional Plan Association, which also advised the panel. “But I think lane reduction provides a whole lot of new opportunities.” Weinberger also notes that modern lanes are roughly 20 percent wider than they were when the BQE was built; cutting lanes to accommodate for newer standards would actually translate to a 10 percent capacity reduction.
“The reduction is not the screaming headline that it suggests,” said Weinberger. “Truly, any amount of reduction is better to allow the highway to limp along.”
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