November/December 1994, p.10

Gowanus Coalition Meets With FHA

On Friday, September 23, members of the Gowanus Expressway Community Coalition presented their concerns over the NY State DoTs proposed reconstruction of the elevated Gowanus Expressway to Federal Highway Administrator Rodney Slater and an assemblage of Brooklyn elected officials, at a meeting hosted by the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce. The reconstruction plan envisions closing large segments of the highway for up to ten years, dumping thousands of additional motor vehicles daily onto local streets. For over a year, the Coalition has called for an Environmental Impact Statement (E1S) with a serious analysis of replacing the elevated highway with a ground level boulevard and light rail line.

The Slater meeting was arranged after the Coalition, frustrated by lack of response from state officials, turned to U.S. Representatives Towns, Velazquez and Nadler for assistance. At the meeting, Slater heard presentations on expected business climate impacts (of the State's reconstruction plan) from a Brooklyn Union Gas representative, community impacts from Coalition members, and full-cost environmental impact estimates from the Tri-State Transportation Campaign (using an analysis produced by Brian Ketcham). Sunset Park Restoration director Tony Giordano explained why removing the elevated highway was feasible and would benefit his neighborhood, and Jane McGroarty of the Brooklyn Heights Association discussed the need for a reduction in vehicle miles traveled, and additional passenger and rail freight capacity in Brooklyn. The NY DOTs environmental assessment for the project is due this winter.

Only public pressure - your letter, your fax, your call - will get your elected representative to make the State DoT weigh the alternatives that west Brooklyn deserves. To that end, contacting representatives from your neighborhood is particularly important Your letter or fax will make a difference.


Assemblymember Eileen Dugan (52 A.D)
343 Smith Street,
Brooklyn, NY 11231
Fax: 718 237 5908

State Senator Martin Connor
270 Broadway, RM 1000
NYC, NY 10007
Fax: 212 964 5776

State Senator Velmanette
70 Lafayette Ave.,
Brooklyn, NY 11217
Fax: 718 237 4137

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