Accident-prone BQE now has its own blog

The Brooklyn Paper
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like The Brooklyn Paper on Facebook.

The only thing worse than being stuck on the Brooklyn–Queens Expressway is being stuck living next to it — and now it’s inspired its own blog!

Werner Cohn, who lives on Hicks Street between Amity and Congress streets overlooking six-lanes of BQE chaos in Cobble Hill, has declared (online) war against the commuting crimes he sees out his living room window.

“The truth is, this highway was built before they knew how to build highways,” said the 81-year-old retired sociologist, who blogs at The Web site’s subtitle is “Fatalities Waiting to Happen.”

Cohn, who also blogs about another neighbor, Long Island College Hospital, is not merely venting. His goal, he says, is prevention.

“Are we going to wait for something terrible to happen to do something about it? I’ll be minding my own business in the house. Then all of a sudden, I’ll hear emergency vehicles, police and sirens, and I look out and boom, there was an accident.”

In the last month, Cohn claims to have seen five such crashes within the half-mile of road that surrounds the very tricky Congress Street entrance. The frequency of the accidents vexes him. Now, however, he believes he has stumbled onto a fast fix: a true acceleration lane.

“The way it is now, I don’t use that entrance. Friends of mine don’t use that entrance. This will make it a lot safer,” he said.

Cohn believes that the state Department of Transportation may like the idea, described in a sketch posted on his blog.

“It’s an affordable way to solve a dangerous intersecti­on,” he said.

Already the blog has gotten people talking. In response to letters from Cohn and Assemblywoman Joan Millman (D–Cobble Hill), a spokesman for the state DOT promised the agency would study improving the entrance. State engineers plan to install an advisory sign warning drivers to slow down as they approach the route’s curve, and new lane markings, the spokesman said.

The white-haired blogger learned about virtual activism from his son, architect Jonathan Cohn, who writes about Atlantic Yards and other development at

This tree finally took notice of its apple.

“I didn’t understand what he was doing all the time with the computer until I started to do it, too,” he said.

Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like The Brooklyn Paper on Facebook.

Reader Feedback

Nico says:
Mr. Cohn has done something that the State and City DOT should have done a long time ago.

Look at the Park Avenue viaduct, they put up the wrong signs to identify the cross streets below!

When did Brooklyn get two new Boulevards!
Oct. 6, 2007, 11:16 am

Enter your comment below

By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:

You agree that you, and not or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.