The state has no plans to improve a dangerous entrance to the Brooklyn–Queens Expressway despite an accident rate that’s six times higher than average, The Brooklyn Paper has learned.
The westbound entrance to the highway at Congress Street, just south of Atlantic Avenue, has been the site of 113 reported crashes in 2005 and 2006, largely due to a design flaw that is well known to state accident investigators: there is no acceleration lane.
“Small-scale improvements” like repainting lanes and adding a speed limit sign were made in November, but “there’s nothing more to add at this point,” said state Department of Transportation spokesman Adam Levine.
There is literally zero feet after the stop sign for drivers to accelerate to the 45 mile-per-hour speed limit before merging into three lanes of traffic. That flow has caused the fender benders — plus countless more that have gone unreported.
The structural defect has earned that stretch of the BQE the dubious distinction of being on the state’s list of most dangerous roadways this year.
The state has painted stripes to demarcate the lanes and installed a speed limit sign to remind drivers to slow down — but rebuilding the on-ramp is hindered by the nearby overpass, said Levine.
Werner Cohn, keeper of “BQE Watch,” who has snapped 33 accidents since founding his blog in August, said the state “should either close the entrance or think of something economically feasible.”
Cohn’s crusade has roused activists.
“Clearly, they have a situation they know is unsafe — they admit is unsafe — and they’re doing nothing about it. That’s unacceptable,” said Craig Hammerman, district manager of Community Board 6.
The state has ruled out closing the entrance, because emergency vehicles from nearby Long Island College Hospital need it.