Thursday, August 30, 2007

Again !

This picture was taken today, Thursday, Aug. 30, 2007, at 5:15 p.m. Yet another accident at this same spot, the BQE on-ramp (going west) near Congress Street. This spot is obviously a fatality waiting to happen. It's not safe. The ramp should be closed to all traffic pending the construction of a proper acceleration lane for entrance to the highway. To paraphrase old Ronnie: Mr. Governor, close that death trap !

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Robert Moses strikes again ?

Here again, on that very same spot -- the on-ramp to the BQE near Congress Street -- is the scene as of 1:15 p.m., Wednesday, August 29, 2007.

As the faithful reader of this blog will know, I have requested the NYPD to furnish accident and mortality figures for this spot. So far no answer. But of course it hasn't been long since this request was filed. So, as old Al Pope would have put it, hope springs eternal that the information is forthcoming.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Accident at the very spot

This photo was taken at 1:30 a.m., Thursday, August 23, 2007. [The time stamp assigned to this posting is off by a few hours]

Monday, August 20, 2007


I have today filed a request for information with Commissioner Ray Kelly of the New York Police Department under FOIL, New York's Freedom of Information Law.

After explaining to Mr. Kelly that we constantly witness accidents on the BQE from our window, I requested that he take a personal interest in the problem at hand.

Next, I detailed the accident information that I seek: number of vehicular accidents, number of injured persons, number of fatalities, and also the average traffic patterns at the following locations:

a. the ramp that I can see from our house, viz. the on-ramp to the westward BQE just north of Congress Street;

for comparative purposes, I have also asked for information for two other ramps that seem to have substantially safer designs:

b. the on-ramp for westward traffic on the BQE at Hicks and Vine, and

c. the on-ramp for eastward traffic on the Prospect Expressway at 19th Street between 7th and 8th Avenues.

For the complete text of my FOIL request, please click here.

Death on the BQE ?

The BQE -- The Brooklyn-Queens Expressway -- was completed more than fifty years ago, in the days of Robert Moses. It was obviously not built for today's traffic conditions. One of its many bad features, from the point of view of today's motorists, are some extremely dangerous on-ramps that are found along its way. (Some of its on-ramps, however, seem perfectly adequate -- for instance the west-bound on-ramp on Hicks and Vine, near Dumbo).

I live in a house from where I can observe a very dangerous on-ramp, the one for west-bound traffic just north of Congress Street. No week seems to go by, it seems, without an accident that I can observe from my windows. Frequently there are ambulances, police cars, and, worst of all, distraught people emerging from automobiles.

The X on the map above shows the spot at which incoming traffic merges with existing traffic. Please note a) because of the curve in the road, the continuing traffic on the BQE has very little distance to see the traffic attempting to merge; b) the traffic attempting to enter the BQE has little distance to observe the continuing traffic; c) there is no acceleration ramp at all; incoming traffic has to enter from a dead stop. As a matter of fact, a stop sign is installed at about the spot marked X.

This picture in an aerial view of the surroundings. I have marked the position of the stop sign with a little black circle.

And here is a closer view of this spot. The stop sign is encircled in black.

This picture shows a car attempting to enter the BQE. It did not stop at the stop sign. Instead it crept ahead slowly into the highway, trying to find an entry. This is the very location where so many accidents occur.

I believe that the driver on this black car did the only sensible thing he could have done under these circumstances. If he had stopped at the stop sign there would have been no safe way for him to enter the traffic flow, IMHO. As a matter of fact, I have not seen a single driver, in several hours of recent observation, who has been foolish enough to make a full stop at this stop sign.