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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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12 Comments

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moonchild

Apparently the G used to go all the way to Astoria. Rather than build something new, why not restore some old subway lines.

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Sunnyside resident

I think it’s a great idea to connect Brooklyn and Queens and would like to see additional streetcars running north/south further east in the two boroughs.

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Matthew Donnelly

What so they can transport more Hipsters from Brooklyn to Astoria? The streets are congested enough in Astoria between the trucks, buses and bike lanes,Now they wanna bring a trolley in ? Please give us Astoruians a break.STOP THE OVERDEVELOPMENT OF ASTORIA!!

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Neil Tabot

This can be similar to the very successful street car system in New Orleans.. these fit well with traffic .. may need to construct some medians for the tracks to run on.

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Anne

Anything for the city to waste money on useless things. Commuting has been just fine for many many years & the congestion and idiots driving will be worse!

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Eric

The above picture has the light rail on the street directly below elevated subway which seems counterproductive unless that would be for a connection between mass transit options. From the map it would seem like the light rail would be running along either 21st Street or Vernon Blvd through LIC and Astoria.

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George

Can’t they figure out a way to integrate the G line better? After all, the tunnels and tracks already exist.

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L Jenn

The G is too far from the shoreline area in many areas – look how the line bends eastward in Bkln. New above ground tracks are clearly a lot cheaper than blasting through granite.

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