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Mayor Plans Streetcar System Linking Queens and Brooklyn

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Feb. 4, 2016 By Christian Murray

Mayor Bill de Blasio plans to construct a 16-mile street car system that would service the Brooklyn and Queens communities located along the East River.

The plan, which would cost about $2.5 billion, is expected to be announced during de Blasio’s State of the City Speech tonight.

The line, which is being dubbed the Brooklyn Queens Connector, would run above the ground on rails embedded into public roadways alongside traffic.

The system would start at Sunset Park, Brooklyn, and go through Long Island City and end in Astoria.

The cost of the system would be significantly less than putting in a new underground subway line.

The streetcars would directly link Brooklyn and Queens, which are difficult to travel between without going into Manhattan first.

State Sen. Mike Gianaris welcomes the plan.

“Queens and Brooklyn are no longer simply homes for people who work in Manhattan but are destinations in their own right,” Gianaris said in a statement.

brooklyn-queensconnector-map“This new streetcar will help people from Queens and Brooklyn commute back and forth as well as enjoy the many fine restaurants and cultural institutions on the east side of the East River without having to cross the river twice each way.”

The exact route has not yet been determined and its operation remains far off.

Under the plan, construction would start in 2019, after studies and community review. The service would begin several years after that, perhaps not until 2024.

Administration officials believe the system’s cost can be offset by tax revenue siphoned from an expected rise in property values along the route.

The plan does not need the state to sign off on it.

Gianaris said that he was optimistic.

“I look forward to working with the city to ensure the specifics of this plan will be beneficial and not harmful to our communities.”

 

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45 Comments

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Pedro Valdez Rivera Jr.

An ultimate boondoggle in the works and these people in along the Brooklyn-Queens waterfront are felt for it.

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LIC_Dude

I’d like this more if this was a light rail system so floods and snow wouldn’t affect it as much and stopping at red lights wouldn’t be an issue.

Probably too expensive and progressive though for our current crop of local politicians.

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brooklynmc

I love this idea. I just think it needs some extra links to Manhattan. The 59th Street Bridge is really far from the Williamsburg Bridge. I think that there needs to be some trams or pedestrian bridges to Manhattan added. Tourists would love it too and I bet it would help middle class families by opening up much more “close to Manhattan” real estate.

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King henrik

Very good last comment. Also this is an accident waiting to happen. Spend the money onthe exsisting mass transit mess once and for all. I didnt vote for deblasio and i never will

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Hmmmmm

So they’ll invest $2.5B on this but we can’t get a single subway line that is fully operational?

Come on!

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Mel

Exactly! Improve on the existing infrastructure. What is wrong with this dumbass of a mayor, no logic whatsoever!

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Reasoner

This plan is ridiculous. (1) It would run at street level, meaning the tram would have to stop at *every* red light on each street, along with automobiles. This is no better than taking the bus! What’s the damn point? (2) For most of its proposed route, the tram would closely parallels the G subway line. Again, what is the point of duplicating the route of a (potentially)much faster subway line that *already* exists? For the proposed stops in Brooklyn that extend beyond already existing G stops, why not simply extend the G line? Is this rocket science? (3) Some would say that the existing G line is too slow. They are right, because the G line is rated among the most neglected MTA lines with the most infrequent scheduled stops. Again, the solution to this not rocket science: just *increase* the number of trains and the *number of cars* in each G train. Again, is this rocket science??? Gimme a break. Who is behind this trambuilding nonsense, the unions???

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brooklynmc

1) Have you ever been on a tram in Europe? They run just fine. They don’t stop at red lights. 2) I lived for years off the G line. You can not just add cars to an old line. The platforms are not long enough. On top of that, the G shares the track with the F. The G is supposed to run every 10 minutes but in reality, runs more like every 12-15 minutes during rush hours.

Extending the G underground would be way more expensive than building an above ground trolley system which could extend from Red Hook to Astoria at least.

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mythoughts247

Sounds like it will be good for those that live on the waterfront, which can be a little far from the subway. But for the rest of us that live in Brooklyn and Queens, will this be any better than the G? What about a Brooklyn-Queens connector from Jackson Heights or Woodside through Bed-Stuy and Flatbush? Or even just an express bus on this route? Would really love to be able to visit friends that live in Brooklyn without it taking 2 hours.

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COLLEGE STUDENT

CONNECT THE DAMN THING TO FLATBUSH AVE. THERE ARE A LOT OF QUEENS KIDS THAT GO TO BROOKLYN COLLEGE!!!!

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Amadeo Plaza

The last time we heard about this, it was a pipe dream project. I didn’t think it was getting traction with the Mayor. I agree with Flores. Tram systems are quite common in Europe ALONG with subway systems and buses. There’s no doubt that New York City has one of strongest public transportation systems — if not the strongest. But I don’t see any problem with bolstering it with another form of transportation. I think the folks opposed to this kind of expansion are making the same mistake as the agencies responsible for building infrastructure for places like LIC. This is a project many years away, that would take a long time to get up and running. If we don’t set the groundwork today for the growth we expect to see tomorrow, 2024 will be at our doorstop, and we’ll be saddled with a transportation infrastructure that’s being crushed by eight years of rapid community development.

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Anon

It’s a great plan to boost commute to these neighborhoods, but missing the obvious – why invest in tram when you can use buses and allocate the money towards something else? Tram seems impractical. Especially when ferry services are supposed to run new routes extending toward Astoria in 2017.

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I Know Everything

Wonderful!

Now all the rich neighborhoods in Brooklyn and Queens are connected. So great all those affluent urban types will have an easier time going out for fine lunches and dinners. Our tax dollars will help subsidize their fabulous lifestyles by sparing these folks the expense of having to take an Uber or a Taxi in order to meet up with all their cool friends!

Forthcoming luxury condor owners in Astoria Cove all say thank you!

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migroschrott

You do realize that everyone of those “rich” folks pays double or triple the tax rate you are paying, the actual amount paid potentially being even more than your yearly wages. Think before you speak.

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I Know Everything

Thanks for the elitist response. Hope you enjoy all those hip new restaurants in Queens brooklynmc!

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I Know Everything

The point is this project helps no one who really needs it and is just a ploy to raise real estate values.

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brooklynmc

I am enjoying them. That is not elitist. I struggle to afford to live here. If I ever get as bitter as some of you though, I will either jump off the 59th street bridge or just move. Queens is not going to get cheaper and the “antiseptic” people will keep coming unless there is a major financial collapse which won’t be good for anyone.

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brooklynmc

That is a very broad statement to suggest everyone between Red Hook and Astoria is rich, and if they were, so what.

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trebla

That is a good proposal but this new one focuses on different and increasingly congested neighborhoods. We shouldn’t have to choose between these plans. They are both very good ideas.

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Frank

Outer-borough X is a no-brainer…the right of ways are largely there, so it is really the conversion of the freight lines in Brooklyn and space for the stations that present the main obstacles. (along with the usual graft, kickbacks, and sweetheart deals)

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Anonymous

Use the $2 billion-plus money to build a couple of simple bridges over the East River for pedestrians and bikers. Or beef up ferry service. This streetcar to nowhere is cute, but won’t really be a game changer.

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trebla

There are already bridges that carry pedestrian and bike traffic over the East River – I’m a runner and I run over bridges – 59th, Williamsburg, Manhattan, Brooklyn, Tri Boro, and Willis Ave. And even so that would not improve travel between Brooklyn and Queens – They would consider expanding this trolley to the Bronx.

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Flores 360

Europe has been doing this for a very long time. Why is it that we are now considering adding trams (streetcars) now? We are so far behind with other developed industrialized nations.

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Sean

– craic dealer No incentive to build?? You must be on crack..Look around..how many buildings have gone up in LIC in the last year alone? How many new construction announcements are made by this blog alone, daily? Who is feeding you this misinformation? To the point of absurdity..how gullible are you? Just open your eyes and I mean that literally..somebody sure is playing you for a fool..

Reply
Mac

-Sean Obviously truth, fact or history do not matter to Craic Dealer. He is told by his handlers at Fox News “Corrupt Labor” is hindering building in NYC so he can’t see all the construction taking place right under his nose. This person has just made a fool of himself posting the absurdity emanating from Fox “news shows” but will continue to go back and take their misinformation because it’s what he wants to hear. The Canadians were right to block Fox from broadcasting and billing itself as News. Fox Commentators like O’Reiley even admit this fact and when they’re cornered and caught in lies they always say “we’re entertainment” because we are owned by News Corp. an Entertainment Company. Craic Dealer can join the ranks of Luvu2 (N’Cheese) and Rocky Balboa. They support proven failed Republican policies pushed by the Fox and Republican agenda with absolutely no regard to truth fact or history. I wish they had the guts to admit the truth behind their motives, everyone knows its all veiled racism.

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N'Cheese

Fox News! Fox News! Fox News! Fox News!

The Tourette’s twitch of the mystical windbag known as Mac. Such a paranoid little twit that he thinks I am Luvu2. No, Mac, I am not. There are many people who think you a pompous jackass. You are starting to sound like Trump, wondering how stupid the people around you are. Little do you realize, you are the imbecile King.

Frank

Many of the street car lines were dismantled because of the subway system. They have a lower capacity and run more slowly, so they simply could not compete. Short sighted, yes, but understandable. So, we are not adding trams, but rather reinstating them.

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Mac

-Frank As much as I hate to say it but you’re correct. Look at the proposed route of the Brooklyn Queens Connector and you’ll see the G train (the old GG Line) covers Brooklyn Heights up into LIC. The MTA may also want to consider reinstating part of the old Manhattan Queens Traction, Queens Boulevard Trolley which was replaced by the Q60 Busline, to alleviate over crowding on the 7. At least the part that ran under the Queens Boulevard 7 EL from 48th street to Van Dam Street and extend it up Thompson Ave instead of running it into Manhattan, to service all the schools up that way now. The parking and pedestrian plazas can still remain. The only obstacle is that block that was enclosed with bricks around 39th Street back in the 70’s.

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Anonymous

You mean Jersey City has been doing this for a very long time. Haha NY’ers only know what’s east of them #NYvalues

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