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BQX Advocacy group releases survey indicating residents support streetcar system

Rendering of the BQX at Queens Plaza

Rendering of the BQX at Queens Plaza

Sept. 8, 2016 By Hannah Wulkan 

A new study commissioned by an advocacy group for the new Brooklyn Queens Connector (BQX) shows that those living along the proposed corridor for the streetcar system largely support its construction.

In a telephone survey conducted in early July, Global Strategy Group found that out of the 701 people polled, 74 percent supported the proposed streetcar system that would follow a 16-mile route between Astoria and Sunset Park, stopping about every half mile.

The survey, commissioned by the Friends of the Brooklyn Queens Connector advocacy group, showed that reasons given for supporting the BQX ranged from improved transit options, to accessibility to jobs and public housing. Others supported it due to its small environmental impact.

The survey did not report the reasons given against the proposed streetcar.

The study was conducted among 701 residents living along the corridor to both landlines and cell phones, and in both English and Spanish. It made a special effort to over-sample residents living in public housing, garnering a total of 147 NYCHA resident responses. The results were then weighted proportionally to voting populations across the corridor.

The survey results showed that the highest levels of support came from the two furthest ends of the proposed corridor, or City Council districts 22 and 36, with an approval rating of 79 percent each.

District 22, represented by Councilman Costa Constantinides, primarily covers Astoria, where the northernmost stop would be, while District 36, represented by Councilman Carlos Menchaca, covers several neighborhoods in Brooklyn including Sunset Park where the southernmost stop would be.

Though reasoning for opposition was not reported, 17 percent opposed the plan in District 22, and 16 percent opposed the plan in District 36.

The lowest levels of support came from City Council district 26 represented by Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, though support for the plan still ranked at 63 percent, with opposition at 25 percent.
brooklyn-queens-streetcar-proposal-map-nyc“In a city in which not-in-my-backyard opposition to large, public infrastructure projects is very common, the fact that support for the BQX is so strong across each council district and every demographic group along the corridor is a ringing endorsement,” said Jeffrey Plaut of the Global Strategy Group in a statement.

“The strong response to the argument that the BQX is needed to address a shortfall in transit options suggests voters in the corridor clearly understand the value of a new transit line in these rapidly growing waterfront communities,” Plaut added.

The city is currently working on a full-blown Alternatives Analysis study on the project, and the results are expected later in the fall. If completed, the line will serve an estimated 50,000 people per day.

Moving forward, the New York City Economic Development Corporation has published an expected timeline for the project.

In 2016, the city commenced detailed planning and community engagement, holding community meetings throughout the area this past spring, with more expected this fall.

If the plan moves forward as expected, 2017 will see the initial public approvals process begin, with the design being initiated in 2018. The selection of operators and contractors and a groundbreaking will happen in 2019, with an expected completion and service launch in 2024.

“These findings echo what we’re hearing loud and clear in communities throughout the corridor—that New York’s 100-year-old Manhattan-centric transit system doesn’t meet their needs and that there must be a better way to get around,” said Friends of the BQX Executive Director Ya-Ting Liu in a statement.

“Brooklyn and Queens residents want greater access to good-paying jobs and more reliable public transit for underserved communities, and overwhelmingly believe the BQX is a much-needed solution.”

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17 Comments

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Pedro Valdez Rivera Jr.

And the gentrification railroad keeps chugging along, furthering displacing residents, and some of them could wind up homeless once the BQX is built.

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Anonymous

Make it elevated or every time there’s flooding or too much snow the thing will be stopped dead in it’s tracks. Pun intended!

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Patricia Dorfman

queens is as our boro prez, melinda katz called it, a “public transit desert.” We need transit help and the bqx is not it. The 7 train blues fb group documents the crisis that queens residents are enduring.
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lots served by the train would face manhattan with unblocked views so prime real estate for high rise condos and rentals.
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why spend $2.5 billion to make shoreline more attractive for big developers, speculators, future high end buyers and renters and ignore the real needs of Queens now? despite the outpouring of fake PR being printed in major media to attempt to persuade us that the bqx is a good idea, why is there no investigative journalism in the daily news, nytimes, nypost, fairly presenting the pros and cons?
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the answer: A highly placed source told me that the amount of foreign $ investment coming in to develop is beyond comprehension and they asked for bqx and no one is able to say “no” – so the task of those who run things is to pretend the people are for it even though we are underserved and would not benefit.
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this article seems well researched:

http://www.city-journal.org/html/trolley-nowhere-14723.html

it will be our fault if we the queens voters don’t ask our leaders to do what is best for us, addressing our real needs per transit, small manufacturing displacement, and jobs lost. will new building be done union? not if recent history is our guide.
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if the city can procure 2.5 billion for queens infrastructure, why not create parks before there is no more land? that also would drive up property values, but would give immediate better quality of life and benefit our small businesses that employ the majority of new yorkers and are disappearing at an alarming clip.
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the need for shoreline transit could be done by bus at a fraction of this unneeded expense according to transit experts. if any new systems are to be built, please propose north/west service in the middle of queens, diagonally across queens and figure out a way to supplement the already overtaxed 7 line.
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why not save this bqx idea up for 20 years from now, when current problems are addressed?
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i went to two “visioning” meetings with other like minded people and felt somewhat heard at the first at cuny law school, but the second one at the lic library was a full charade: table monitors seemed coercive so as to elicit only positive responses. the passing out of stickers and markers at both to indicate what the new things we could do or visit with such a train was offensive paid PR, to persuade us that someone cared about our vision or wishes. other visioning sessions met with mixed response:

http://patch.com/new-york/sunset-park/sunset-park-residents-want-more-answers-brooklyn-queens-connector

the chamber of commerce and nine other concerned groups are jointly holding a free anti-gentrification forum on 9/18 at 44th & skillman in sunnyside at queen of angels community ctr. and among other topics, sam stein will be addressing bqx. for further info, write [email protected].

as manhattan runs out of room, and big real estate is forced to look to the formerly uncool queens for land, where they put cemeteries, railyards, power plants back in the day as their spare room, we will be hearing more and more such proposals.

patricia dorfman, exec. dir
sunnyside chamber of commerce

Reply
BILL

I support this 1000% as opposed to the bike lanes that have congested the streets of our borough. There are many lanes that were so ill thought out and a waste of taxpayers money just to support a minority of bikers as there are drivers. I have yet to see these lanes used by many people while I see more riding bikes the same way as before lanes. But this trolley is a great idea for sure. Maybe it can be built on the unused bike lanes. lol

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brooklynmc

I use the bike lanes every single day along with thousands of other people. One of the problems with the lanes is that car drivers make using the lanes very dangerous. I was hit from behind in a bike lane. Hit and run. Knocked unconscious and needed 50 stitches in my face and head. I am now terrified of bike lanes. I have also been doored twice. The near misses are too numerous to count. This streetcar is a great idea. There are more jobs in the outer boroughs these days. People can live and work in NYC without ever going to Manhattan. I also think that this will open up the rest of NYC to tourists. There is no question that this will be good for NYC and New Yorkers. If it bothers car drivers, I don’t care one bit. Car drivers should be the last concern.

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DLO

Reasoning to continue bike riding eludes me. I think of bike riders on our crowded streets as a surreal survival game, with too much anxiety to give pleasure, when public transport is reasonably available. Hundreds killed or maimed each yesr. Reality check: the politicos who champion the fashion for this killing field, ride in limos.
Yes to public transport…and spare the poor deluded bike riders.

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MRLIC

I agree with One term Mayor. DeBlasio & his friends will prosper. More Luxury Condos will be built. Why was the reasons for opposition not reported? Something smells fishy here. I am in Jimmy Van Bramer’s district.

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Billy de Blasio

People of Long Island City, the time has come to pay forward to those with less than yourself. This transit system will support view and paid by many.

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One-term Mayor

I call BS on “support”! Who did they survey? Where? 701 people are enough to say this plan is supported? Where’s the study? Hannah, post the study!

If this goes through as planned this will be the definitive answer to: Is Mayor de Blasio in the pocket of these developers?

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MRLIFeces

Yeah, having reasonably priced public transit will be a huge blow to the city. It really makes you miss the bridge bunnies near the Queensboro on-ramp and the paint factories dumping chemicals any old place. What next, are they going to start fixing pot holes and supplying a better community police force?

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Anonymous

A public relations agency hired by the city to push the BQX organized this survey. Corporate propaganda at its finest.

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taylor swift

more public transportation for an area thats seeing lots of development. whats not to love?? start laying the tracks and dont listen to the haterz cause they gonna hate hate hate!

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