An anonymous “Concerned Resident Of Brooklyn Heights” is circulating a proposal to lower the speed limit for large vehicles on the BQE under the Promenade “in order to significantly decrease traffic‐induced vibrations in buildings, a major complaint of local residents.” The author asks that neighborhood citizens and their representatives petition the Department of Transportation.
Specifically, he or she proposes that the clip of I-278 between exit 27 and 29B be reduced to 30 mph for Class 3 vehicles and above (buses, tractor trailers, pickups, vans, campers, motor homes, etc.), noting that “poor road conditions and the speed of large vehicles on Interstate 278 through Brooklyn Heights has a significant impact on the quality of life, specifically when it comes to vibrations in buildings. Resident complaints are rampant as described in The New York Times and Brooklyn Heights Blog.
“Logically speaking, vibrations make it more difficult to live in the neighborhood, rent properties for higher rents and sell properties at higher prices. It also increases maintenance on historical buildings,” the letter states. “Maintenance on the road is carried out occasionally but the fair conditions only last a short period of time before large vehicles pound the roads back into disrepair. Insignificant budgets and an increase in the weight of vehicles over time are compounding the problem. Residents and even those very motorists are affected emotionally and monetarily.”
The “Concerned Resident” suggests that the “easiest, lowest-cost solution” is to lower the speed limit for vehicles FHWA class 3 and higher to a reasonable 30 mph from exit 27 to exit 29B, “resulting in an estimated 2.4 minutes of extra travel time for those vehicles and a significant decrease in building vibration.”
An Institute for Research in Construction study by the National Research Council of Canada is June 2000, is cited, which notes differences in speed reduced vibrations as much as 300%.
References to the author’s claims and statistics are included in the original letter, which you can view as a PDF here: Brooklyn Heights