Yesterday, the Mayor put the long-stalled BQX waterfront streetcar project back on the table. The light rail trolley slated to run between Brooklyn and Queens was left out of the fiscal budget in April of this year, after missing its 4th feasibility study deadline. Now the project has returned with a shorter route, a higher budget, and the Mayor’s support.
When the project was first proposed in 2016, the advocacy group Friends of the BQX, headed by Jessica Schumer, daughter of Chuck Schumer, envisioned a 16-mile route from Astoria to Sunset Park. The current project stretches 11 miles, from Astoria to Red Hook, stopping in between at Long Island City, Greenpoint, Williamsburg, the Brooklyn Navy Yard and Downtown Brooklyn. Continue reading →
While we will be getting NYU, we won’t be getting BQX.Mayor de Blasio did not include the project in his budget for the next fiscal year, and the city’s Economic Development Corporation also declined allocate funds for the Gentrification Express.
When Mayor de Blasio unveiled his plan for the Brooklyn-Queens Connector (BQX) in February 2016, he projected that the 16-mile streetcar route would pay for itself through increased property tax revenue garnered from neighborhoods along the route, leading opponents to dub the project “the Gentrification Express.” Now, it seems the BQX will need federal funds to meet its $2.5 Billion budget.
Without the funds, the BQX may not go forward. This is not the first setback for the project. As of January, it has missed its fourth deadline to produce a feasibility study. Right now, there is no stated date for when the city might see that study.
While this might lead casual observers to call the BQX simply unfeasible, the mayor is optimistic about the project, telling WNYC that he feels Chuck Schumer will be able to use his clout in the senate to get money earmarked for the BQX. Continue reading →
Happy December, Everybody! Despite the glorious lights on Manhattan Avenue, it seems not everybody is in the holiday spirit. In fact, there has been some gross nonsense going on around here: on November 21st, a man began masturbating outside The Lot Radio coffee shop (17 Nassau Avenue) while staring at a 20-year-old female employee. Then, he entered the shop and attempted to raid the cash register. This whole episode went down before noon, proving that it’s never to early to be a creep.
Unfortunately, the crime wave continued this week. On Tuesday, a Greenpoint woman was the victim of a violent robbery. The 63-year-old woman was punched in the face in the lobby her building; the assailant made off with her purse and cellphone. The NYPD asks the public’s help in identifying the perpetrators in both these crimes. If you have information about either case, call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS or for Spanish 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers Website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM or texting their tips to 274637(CRIMES) then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.
Speaking of riding in style, the first prototype of the Brooklyn-Queens Connector, or BQX, was unveiled on Monday. Also known as the Gentrification Express, the proposed streetcar would run along the waterfront from Astoria to Sunset Park.
After a recently leaked city hall memo suggested that Mayor Bill de Blasio’s proposed streetcar connecting Brooklyn and Queens may be both “unaffordable” and “unfeasible,” the future of the project is unclear.
Originally announced in February 2016, the Brooklyn-Queens Connector, known as the BQX, would run along a 14-mile route, connecting Astoria, Queens to Sunset Park, Brooklyn. Before hiring the former chairman of the Toronto Transit Commission, Adam Giambrone, to head the project, the city estimated the cost of the streetcar would be $2.5 billion, generating an estimated economic impact of $25 billion over the next 30 years. Utilizing existing rails from 20th century trolley cars, the trip from end-to-end would last about 30 minutes and cost you a swipe of your MetroCard. The route has yet to be finalized, but the city proposes the streetcar travel through Greenpoint via Franklin Street, Manhattan Avenue, or McGuiness Boulevard, necessitating the redesign of the Pulaski Bridge or the construction of an alternate path over the Newtown Creek.Continue reading →
Get to The Woods (48 S. 4th Street) on Thursday, December 8th from 6-8pm for an evening of socializing and learning about the proposedBQXstreetcar system. It’s planned to run 16 miles along the Queens/Brooklyn waterfront and to be emissions-free, without overhead wires or underground power sources. If all goes as planned, groundbreaking would start in 2019-2020, and if it’s going to look anything like their fancy Photoshopped renderings, it could be pretty cool. Continue reading →