The Brooklyn-Queens streetcar project has polarized New Yorkers and both sides continue to drum up support talking for or against the project. As the BQX continues to move through the planning stages, a group in support of the proposal, Friends of the Brooklyn Queens Connector, has released a poll showing support for the streetcar project (obviously), the New York Daily News reports.
The group polled residents in seven City Council districts through which the 16-mile route of the streetcar will pass. Neighborhoods that saw the most support for the project, understandably, were Astoria and Sunset Park with 79 percent in support of the project. The neighborhood most opposed was Long Island City, but there too, 63 percent of the people polled supported the project.
The Daily News interviewed an urban planning professor at Hunter College, Tom Angotti, who called the poll "self-promoting," and said the pollsters had asked questions like "what would be the best location for a stop" instead of whether the streetcar should be built at all.
Angotti’s skepticism echoes the fair share of criticism lobbed against the project including the fact that its route is far from the subway, that the cost might be too high, that it only serves to advance the interests of real estate developers, and the fact that the existing public transportation infrastructure stands to be improved.
On the flip side, the project has received support from groups like Transportation Alternatives, who say it will make the city "more equitable," and it also has the backing of some elected officials like Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.
The city is hoping to complete a comprehensive study on the streetcar proposal this fall. Officials are looking to Toronto as a model for implementing the system here with the possibility of creating dedicated lanes for the streetcar, a theory examined in a recent New York Times article.