Brooklyn’s ongoing efforts to return to the 19th century took a big leap forward today with Mayor de Blasio coming out in support of 16-mile, honest-to-god streetcar that would connect the bespoke borough with Queens.
As anyone who lives in either borough is aware, traveling between Brooklyn and Queens often takes longer than a cross-country hoverboard ride. The main subway line that travels between the boroughs, the G train, is flakier than a Tinder date on a Tuesday night, and it often makes more sense to just go through Manhattan.
The plan for the streetcar, which we’ve previously reported on, will be unveiled in the mayor’s State of the City speech tonight. The trains would run aboveground, on rails embedded in the street, along the East River waterfront. The route would potentially stretch from Astoria in Queens all the way down to Sunset Park. A ride would cost about as much as the subway and travel at 12 miles per hour.
Courtesy: Friends of the Brooklyn Queens Connector
Don’t get too excited about zipping between boroughs on streamlined trolleys quite yet. The $2.5 billion project (still less than a new underground subway line) most likely won't begin construction until 2019, with service not beginning until around 2024. With the corridor running through so many areas, the neighborhood review process is expected to take quite some time.
"The old transportation system was a hub-and-spoke approach, where people went into Manhattan for work and came back out," Alicia Glen, deputy mayor for housing and economic development told the New York Times. "This is about mapping transit to the future of New York."
According to the Mayor's plan, the project would be funded by tax revenue generated by higher property values along the streetcar's route which you can see a preliminary map of below.
Courtesy: New York City Mayor's Office