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City puts forward potential routes for BQX, including options for Astoria and LIC

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Nov. 2, 2016 By Hannah Wulkan

The city has taken another step forward on the proposed Brooklyn-Queens Connector, releasing potential routes for the streetcar.

Mayor Bill De Blasio announced plans for the new streetcar system in February, and the Economic Development Corporation released potential routes for the project yesterday.

The report outlined the pros and cons for various routes for the BQX, which would cover a 16-mile corridor from Astoria to Sunset Park in Brooklyn, with about 30 stops that would be placed every half mile or so.

The study examines factors such as traffic flow, travel time, ridership, and connectivity to other transit options.

route as of Nov, 2016The route planning shows that the streetcar would likely begin at Hoyt Avenue near the Astoria waterfront, and then travel down one of the streets parallel to the East River.

It suggests Vernon Boulevard, 21st Street, Crescent Street and 31st Street as potential corridors through Astoria, with pros and cons to each option. It could also travel down 27th Avenue to Hallets Point, which the report points out is an “underserved transit desert.”

“Each option has its own positive and negative to it, and I want to make sure that as we move forward we see that this has a lot of potential, but I want to make sure we look at streets holistically to find the best fit,” said Councilman Costa Constantinides, whose district covers the furthest west part of the proposed corridor.

“We need to integrate it in to the streets and look for a comprehensive redesign that is safe for pedestrians, bikes and drivers as well,” he added.

There is already community interest in redesigning 21st Street, according to the report. It is a wide street and would connect to the E, F, and M train line.

Vernon Boulevard is narrow, making it difficult to fit the BQX. It would also have to be designed to work around the existing greenway, and is a bit far from other transportation options, though it would serve Hallets Point residents.

The 31st Street option would be tricky, the report points out, because it would be difficult to operate the streetcar underneath the elevated N and W tracks.

Crescent Street is close to the parallel N and W lines, though the report did not say anything else about that option.

Upon reaching Long Island City, the route could go in several directions.

It could go from 21st Street to Jackson Avenue, which would be difficult but would put it near the 7 and G trains.

It could also head down 11th Street and cross the Pulaski Bridge in to Brooklyn, go down Vernon Boulevard and follow the historic streetcar route, or turn down 51st Avenue and on to 2nd Street, offering park access.

The report explains that 11th Street is wide enough but it is not near the 7 train and it would be hard to install the streetcar on the Pulaski Bridge.

Once completed, the streetcar is expected to service up to 50,000 travelers daily.

The entire BQX project is projected to cost $2.5 billion to construct, and $30 million annually for operations and maintenance. According to the EDC it could generate up to $25 billion in economic impact on the community over the next 30 years.

The EDC and DOT are currently in the second community input phase, and hope to break ground in 2019 and begin operations in 2024.

For report, please click here

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9 Comments

Pedro Valdez Rivera Jr.

Genrification, here we come, thanks to the total governmental, red tape, buracracy by city hall, in the next several years or so.

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Migroschrott

Wait, why do they keep pushing this huge waste of money? I thought neighborhood resident feedback was clearly against this, given that this streetcar does not get a dedicated lane and has to share the street with the regular traffic. This thing is as useless as a bus when it comes to rush hour traffic and even worse if there’s an accident that the streetcar can’t get around because it’s confined to the tracks, unlike a bus.

There are better options like a monorail (https://youtube.com/watch?v=IOsJrU5XUIw#) that has none of these problems. I mean, was this even considered or is someone just using their connections to sell their glorified idea that is going to be stuck in traffic? No one wants this, except De Blasio. What’s his cut?

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Anonymous

Let’s run a streetcar down DeBlasio’s block in Brooklyn. Then he can see firsthand what a brilliant idea it is.

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Urban Planner

This is a useless transportation method that is ONLY done for the interests of developers hedging on increasing rents along the waterfront. Reinvestment (gentricification) is not a bad thing. Instead of shoving a ‘street car’ which was popular 100+ years ago, how about our city government come up with an innovative transportation solution. Forcing the electorate to accept a $2.5B system on already crowded, dated, and poorly designed streets is simple: it is an increase in real estate valuation to benefit the glass towers along the east river waterfront. Mayor de Blasio, the developers streetcar idea will NOT ease congestion on the 7, L, M, J, F, E, subway lines.

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Weeper

And notice that they made sure not to run the streetcars on the streets where the glass towers are. How could any serious transit planner contemplate putting a streetcar system on the busy and cramped streets in our neighborhood? Did they even have a look around here because they’d see how stupid such a plan would be.

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MRLIC

Sounds like another 2nd ave subway project that took 100 or so years to get 4 stops built. The city seems to have all this money. let’s build affordable housing intsead of putting homeless and semi-homeless in Luxury hotels and Holidiay Inns etc..

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