Starting next month, the de Blasio administration will hold "visioning sessions" for the Brooklyn-Queens Connector (BQX), the streetcar proposal that seeks to significantly reduce travel times between the two boroughs, Politico reports.
The city commissioned a study on the streetcar proposal put forth by a coalition including Two Trees Management, Los Sures, the Fifth Avenue Committee, and the Red Hook Initiative. The administration found that many of the suggestions in the proposal were actually feasible, and that the project could in fact move forward in the not too distant future.
The findings of the report suggest that the bridges along the streetcar's 17-mile route connecting Astoria to Sunset Park would be able to accommodate the BQX with "substantial modifications," — a slightly different take from when it was earlier reported that the project may require the construction of two new bridges. In addition, the study also found that the idea to pay for the project through real estate tax revenues was "reasonable."
The BQX would reduce travel time between Williamsburg and Astoria to 34 minutes from the existing 61 minutes, but Politico puts it 25-45 minutes based on Google Maps estimations.
City officials told Politico that those numbers were based on a "transit desert" along the route.
The advocacy director for the non-profit group, the TransitCenter, and a former Bloomberg-era transit official told Politico that the report did not address concerns about the $2.5 billion cost of the project and the low demand.
The administration on its part says that between 45,000-50,000 people would use the service everyday. For now, construction is expected to start in 2019, with an anticipated completion sometime in 2024.
The first of the visioning meetings will be held at the Variety Boys and Girls Club at 21-12 30th Rd in Long Island City on May 9.