Southern Brooklyn

Photos: Tractor-Trailer Ripped Open After Hitting Belt Parkway Overpass



Legend has it that when Robert Moses designed the Belt Parkway, he made the overpasses low in order to ensure buses couldn’t travel on it, so that the lower-class masses, dependent on mass transit, couldn’t access the fancy-shmancy beaches of Long Island. And while it seems to have been successful in keeping buses off,  it appears truck drivers never got the memo.

Of course, as residents we all know commercial vehicles are not permitted on the Belt Parkway. But when ill-informed truck drivers try to skirt the rules, it turns into a spectacular failure. Last time we reported on one, in June 2012, it turned into a multi-agency removal effort, and caused an SUV to be crushed in the impact. Almost exactly two years before that, in June 2010, another tractor-trailer tried sneaking on in the middle of the night, and ended up turning the area around the B/Q overpass at East 14th Street into a wasteland of debris.

There must be something about June, because it happened again last night. At around 9:20 p.m., an 18-wheeler illegally traveling eastbound on the Belt Parkway again slammed into the B/Q overpass, snarling traffic for hours.

Making matters worse, as it was being removed by the Queens-based Runway Towing Corporation, the truck was dragged along and then – wham! – right into the Knapp Street, Exit 9 sign, destroying that as well.

Sheepshead Bay’s subway and pedestrian overpasses outside the Belt Parkway are also no strangers to the occasional daring truck driver trying to squeeze through – and failing. For just a few examples, see herehereherehere and here.

For this one, readers Butch Moran and Ed Ioffe happened to be on-hand to catch some photos of the damaged truck.

Check them out below.






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  1. This shit happens way too often. You only have the ones that you reported on, This shiz, on average happens once every two months at least (im very tempted to say every month, but there have been some months in a row when we went crash free) usually happens at night too.

  2. Actually, the original overpasses designed by Moses are high enough for buses, but only if they travel in the center lane. Since bus drivers did not know this, they didn’t want to take the chance by using the road, but they were prohibited from using it anyway.

    I also thought they wouldn’t fit under the overpasses, then heard that they can use the center lane, and last week that was confirmed when I saw an NYCT express bus not in service go under one of the low overpasses in the center lane. It was obvious he would not have made in in the outside lanes. This was in Bay Ridge. He had no trouble using the outside lane under one of the newer non-arched overpasses.

  3. Make sure the tractor-trailer company pays out of pocket for all damages. When they do repair the sign hope it doesn’t take as long as the rest of the belt.

  4. I see that this is almost a daily occurance. I used to respond to these accidents working with the NYCDOT. I see not much has changed since I left the department 5 years ago.

  5. Most truckers dont realize they are not to exit the Verrazano br via the belt pkway exit. Even though it says NO COMMERCIAL TRAFFIC.

  6. neither the southern state nor the northern state can accommodate any bus traffic. The lore is that Moses did not want blacks taking buses to Joan’s Beach. However, historians have been unable to find anything in Moses’ writings to allude to or confirm this “racial theory” of the parkway system, and its probably not true. Moses just did not like mass transit and felt that the Car Is King. Compare and contrast to our current highway czarina J.Sadik-Khan.

  7. They could have accommodated buses in the center lane, but the lane widths were not designed to accommodate buses and it would have been too dangerous to allow them in only one of the three lanes.


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