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Nonprofit Wants 17-Mile Streetcar Linking Brooklyn & Queens

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Development along the Brooklyn and Queens waterfront is booming, but for many residents, lack of transit is still an issue. One nonprofit has proposed a solution to the problem: A 17-mile-long waterfront streetcar network that would run from Sunset Park, Brooklyn up to Astoria, Queens, according to the New York Daily News.

The system, called the Brooklyn Queens Connector, would hug the waterfront pretty tightly through most of Brooklyn, but be more inland as it traveled through Long Island City. A map provided to the Daily News by the nonprofit Friends of the Brooklyn Queens Connector shows the southern terminus being 59th Street in Sunset Park and the northern terminus being 27th Avenue in Astoria. It also indicates that it would traverse the Newtown Creek via the Pulaski Bridge and have a line that would connect to the Long Island Rail Road at Atlantic Terminal.

Friends of the Brooklyn Queens Connector is made up of what the Daily News described as "transit experts, community leaders and business giants," including Steiner Studios' Doug Steiner and the Durst Organization's Helena Durst. Red Hook Initiative's Jill Eisenhard, also a group member, told the Daily News that "too much of the city is underserved by our transit system, and we need to be looking at ideas like this to create a 21st century network."

A study commissioned by the group said it would cost $1.7 billion to build the streetcar and $26 million a year to run it, and that it would also bring in $3.7 billion in tax revenue and carry 15.8 million passengers each year. (This estimate is for the year 2035, so make of that what you will.) A spokesperson for Mayor Bill de Blasio said they'd consider the idea; but plans for a streetcar connecting the two boroughs have been bandied about for years, so we're not holding our breath.
· $1.7B streetcar route desired for Brooklyn-Queens waterfront [NYDN]