Anyone Biking Over the Brooklyn Bridge With a Camera This Evening?

A truck fire has shut down the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway in both directions around DUMBO and Brooklyn Heights. I just biked back to Brooklyn from the Open Planning Project office in Lower Manhattan and, wow!, I have never seen a traffic jam as bad as the one that is currently underway in and around Downtown Brooklyn. From the Brooklyn Bridge, down Adams Street, into Boerum Hill, along 3rd and 4th Avenues, up Union Street into Park Slope — virtually every intersection is gridlocked, drivers are pissed out of their minds and the horn honking is unbelievable. A fender bender on the BQE has, it seems, shut down a good portion of New York City’s automobile transportation system.

If anyone happens to be biking home over the Brooklyn Bridge with a digital camera, snap a few photos for us. If ever there was an advertisement for bike commuting and mass transit, this is it. 

  • When I lived in London I cycled everywhere – it was the only reliable way of commuting. It’s days like this in NY that shift people on to 2 wheels…

  • epc

    It wasn’t just a fender bender, car vs truck in the Middagh Street overpass in the NB BQE lanes. See Brooklyn Heights blog for photos & video.

  • Davis

    Fender bender + gigantic fireball.

  • The photos in the link look scary– I hope no one got hurt.

  • Josh

    I wasn’t on the Brooklyn Bridge tonight, but I was down in Carroll Gardens to check out an apartment and traffic was fouled up all the way down to that area both on the BQE and on local roads.

  • At 6:30pm traffic was near standstill on 5th, 6th and 7th Aves in the Slope. From 15th street up to 9th northbound, one car per light would move through intersection. This led to drivers deciding to travel on the wrong side of the street, sometimes from mid block.

  • Larry Littlefield

    I’m afraid this is what SUBWAY TRAVEL is going to be like in the near future. I just hope bikes remain able to go over the bridges, so I can avoid all this.

  • At 6:30pm traffic was near standstill on 5th, 6th and 7th Aves in the Slope. From 15th street up to 9th northbound, one car per light would move through intersection. This led to drivers deciding to travel on the wrong side of the street, sometimes from mid block.

    What, were the Nets at home last night?

  • Sainsbury

    It was one giant parking lot from The Brooklyn Bridge to Windsor terrace last night. Cars, SUVs, trucks, vans all twisted at odd angles trying to get around each other with no one (but bikes) moving. made it a little scary. Never know when someone decides the bike lane is necessary for them to quickly get around the car in front of them to gain those 5-10 feet of tarmac. I was surprised more cars weren’t traveling down and blocking the bike paths.

  • Boris

    I was one of those suckers driving from Staten Island to Manhattan yesterday afternoon for a class. Once I realized what a mess it was I tried going east, around Prospect Park, but gave up, parked, and took the Q to where I needed to go. Unfortunately, on average driving outside of rush hours is still faster and sometimes even cheaper than transit, so I think I will continue to drive some of the time- making sure to check the traffic report beforehand.

    This truck accident is one more reason to restrict trucks on the BQE. The trucks cause a lot of pollution in some of the densest neighborhoods outside of Manhattan and generally don’t belong there.

  • I don’t know what other roads trucks would take, I mean I really don’t know, I am clueless when it comes to NYC highways. Since the whole city needs, trucks, and most of the stuff in them, and we don’t need personal cars and the one person in them, why not close highways to cars? Why expedite personal trips and clog up commercial supply lines? i.e. if traffic were always like it was last night, 6 hours after the closing of the BQE, people would figure out another method of transportation pretty quick.

  • Boris

    There are plans to raise the overpasses on Belt Parkway to allow for truck traffic there. It makes a lot of sense for trucks going to Long Island- they are not needed in downtown Brooklyn.

    And we certainly don’t need gravel-carrying tractor-trailers anywhere in the city. That stuff is the job of freight trains that will one day use the long-overdue Cross Harbor Freight Tunnel.

    So the only trucks the city needs are smaller delivery trucks and the occasional dump truck for local road paving and the like. No 18-wheelers.

    I certainly wouldn’t drive if there was congestion pricing, especially if that translated into high-speed Staten Island ferry service. But, alas.

  • Barnard

    Aaron, did you write any poems about the gridlock and honking?

    Tangled BQE,
    You promote: biking, walking
    And public transit


Tour de Brooklyn: City is Considering Car-Free Central Park Trial

New York City Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan enjoys a lighter moment with Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz as Noah Budnick of Transportation Alternatives welcomes cyclists to the 2007 Tour de Brooklyn. The third annual Tour de Brooklyn bike ride rolled through the borough Sunday with sunny skies, temperatures in the low 70s and a light breeze along a […]

The New Plan to Connect Downtown Brooklyn to Its Waterfront

Starting in the 1930s, entire city blocks in Brooklyn Heights, Downtown Brooklyn, and DUMBO were razed for expressways and parks. Today, this jumble of on-ramps and disconnected green space separates Brooklyn’s waterfront from its downtown core. A new public-private initiative, called “The Brooklyn Strand,” seeks to knit these disjointed areas back together. On Monday evening, Claire Weisz […]

TA Calls for Grand Street to Serve People, Not Cars, During L Shutdown

Volunteers from Transportation Alternatives rallied on the Brooklyn side of the Williamsburg Bridge last night to call on the city to prioritize Grand Street for buses, bicycling, and walking when the MTA shuts down the western portion of the L train for 18 months to make Sandy-related repairs. Every day, New Yorkers make hundreds of thousands of trips on the […]