Stella! De Blasio jumps onboard with Brooklyn-Queens streetcar

Aboveground line is expected to cost $2.5B

TRD New York /
Feb.February 04, 2016 11:09 AM

Mayor Bill de Blasio is throwing his support behind plans for a San Francisco-style streetcar line directly connecting Brooklyn and Queens, which would touch parts of the boroughs that have undergone rapid development in recent years.

At an expected cost of $2.5 billion, the 16-mile streetcar route would follow the East River in Brooklyn and Queens. De Blasio will unveil the plan in his State of the City speech on Thursday.

The aboveground line — think San Francisco’s trolleys — will snake along the East River, and would increase transportation to areas that have seen rapid growth, such as the Brooklyn Navy Yard and Long Island City, the New York Times reported. It would connect from Sunset Park to Astoria.

While the neighborhood review process will likely be arduous, the mayor already has support from some major developers, such as Two Trees Management’s Ted Walentas. Walentas and de Blasio’s relationship had experienced ups and downs, but the developer has championed the plan and paid for a study on its feasibility and costs. Walentas’ residential conversion of the Domino Sugar refinery along the Williamsburg waterfront is close to completion.

The streetcar, which would hit top speeds of 12 miles an hour, should cut down on travel times. For example, a trip from Greenpoint to Dumbo would take 27 minutes.

The idea of a streetcar connecting the two boroughs has been bandied about before. The Brooklyn and Queens waterfronts are expected to see significantly more residential and office development in the coming years. Nonprofit Friends of the Brooklyn Queens Connector recently commissioned a study that expected an estimated 15.8 million passengers would use the streetcar line annually by 2035.

The project is not expected to need state approval, meaning de Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s contentious relationship will not factor into the equation. [NYT] — Dusica Sue Malesevic


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
When Bill de Blasio announced the end of his campaign, the industry reacted largely with relief but not surprise (Credit: Getty Images and Pixabay)

De Blasio’s campaign is dead, and real estate is happy

Gary Barnett says luxury market is crowded, WeWork IPO woes continue: Daily Digest

The blackout impacted a 42-block stretch of Manhattan between the Hudson River and Fifth Avenue (Credit: Getty Images)

Con Ed still searching for answers in Manhattan blackout

Mayor Bill de Blasio and Rikers Island (Credit: Getty Images)

Real estate development not coming to Rikers Island, mayor says

Mayor Bill de Blasio and Frank Carone (Credit: Getty Images)

City tapped De Blasio donor to take over foreclosed properties

NYC is on the hunt for an Amazon replacement in Queens

Bill de Blasio and The Oval Office (Credit: Getty Images)

“It’s gonna suck for us”: Real estate sounds off on de Blasio’s presidential bid

Mayor Bill de Blasio and Commissioner Steven Banks and 127-03 20th Avenue (Credit: Getty Images and Google Maps)

Critics sue to block College Point homeless shelter

arrow_forward_ios