Thanks for your comment! Your point about the BQE as an evacuation route is well taken. We did not consider disaster response in our analysis of the project, and it’s obviously something that would need to be solved for.
We will be doing a deeper dive into this particular idea in a future post, but the crux of the proposal is that the automation of almost all delivery vehicles and trucks — and a good portion of passenger vehicles — may drastically reduce the amount of roadway space we actually need to accommodate those vehicles in the future. If that is the case (admittedly, a big “if”), what could we do with the found space that results? It then becomes a larger discussion about regional priorities. Highways, transit, parks, housing, and a host of other things are all vying for limited real estate in New York, and we like the idea that technology might be creating some opportunities to change the balance a bit.
Daniel O’Shaughnessy, SOM City Design Practice