Can you imagine a city construction project taking less than two years? We can’t, but that’s what Community Board 15 Chairperson Theresa Scavo is saying it will take to build an elevated express lane above the Belt Parkway. The proposed lane will extend from Sheepshead Bay all the way to JFK Airport in order to ease congestion on the highway. Scavo says the construction can be done using federal stimulus dollars. Manhattan Beach Neighborhood Association President Alan Ditchek is backing her efforts, but the local elected officials appear lukewarm. Councilman Lew Fidler said it was interesting but didn’t comment further, while Congressman Anthony Weiner has pushed responsibility towards the state authorities, saying they would need to match the fed’s funding by at least 20 percent. “The congressman looks forward to hearing from the state authority about Ms. Scavo’s ideas,” his office said. [via YourNabe.com]
Update:After scheduling the above post and walking away to do errands, Scavo sent me an e-mail elaborating on the proposal. Below is the relevant excerpt:I know there is a huge amount of unused Federal Stimulus money available and what better [way to use it] for our community than an express level over the Belt Parkway. Stimulus money is set aside for transportation and road construction only. We could have an express-laned road from entry only at Ocean Parkway and exit at Kennedy Airport or further. This would cut delays and speed movement of traffic. The Garden State Parkway in New Jersey has express lanes, the New Jersey Turnpike has 6 lanes of traffic–here in Brooklyn along the route of the Belt Parkway there is no room to expand North and South—our only chance is up for expansion. In Queens, the mono-rail was constructed above the Van Wyke Expressway to assist travel to the airport. The Belt is bumper to bumper traffic at all hours of the day and night. If we could allievate even a small percent of drivers from the parkway it would ease travel time.