City Wants a Less Ugly BQE in Carroll Gardens

The Bloomberg administration wants to dress up the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway with some greenery.

Long an eyesore, the BQE runs through Carroll Gardens and Cobble Hill just south of Downtown Brooklyn, slicing the two neighborhoods off from residential blocks to the west. Now the city’s Economic Development Corporation is looking for a design team to suggest ways to make it slightly less of an eyesore, as the agency on Monday put out a request for qualifications” for a BQE Enhancement Study.

The proposed improvements to the project area may include, but are not be limited to, green planted buffers throughout the study area; new street light fixtures, new street furniture, such as decorative trash receptacles or seating; sidewalk repair and re-alignment; and, other special elements such as pedestrian/bicycle improvements,” the document says.

The timeline in the RFQ calls for the selection of a design firm by the end of the year and the study completed in 2010.

“The proposed improvements to the project area may include, but are not be limited to, green planted buffers throughout the study area; new street light fixtures, new street furniture, such as decorative trash receptacles or seating; sidewalk repair and re-alignment; and, other special elements such as pedestrian/bicycle improvements,” the document says.

This isn’t the first time a city has struggled with an ugly highway in the middle of a residential area. Across the country, dozens of Interstates scar neighborhoods—blights that are hard to “beautify” in any significant way.

In 2007, the Bloomberg administration mentioned this section of the BQE as a candidate for real estate development, suggesting in its PlaNYC sustainability report that the city eventually deck over the submerged highway and put housing on top.

ebrown@observer.com

City Wants a Less Ugly BQE in Carroll Gardens