There's long been talk about building a streetcar to connect Queens and Brooklyn. As there should be, since, it's necessary. The G Train is too crowded, and getting back and forth between Queens and Brooklyn shouldn't be rocket science.
Last summer, a committee of developers merged to get started on the project and now, thankfully, The New York Times reported that Mayor de Blasio is also behind the plan.
Mayor de Blasio's plan will be unveiled on Thursday in the State of the City speech, and it'll include the proposition for a streetcar line that would run along the East River in Brooklyn and Queens for 16 miles.
Can we all get a collective "Hallelujah"? We definitely feel like cheering. This project would be the de Blasio administration's most ambitious urban engineering project thus far, and it would ease the transportation woes of thousands.
The train would run aboveground on rails embedded in public roadways, and flow alongside automobile traffic. They'd also be next to the East River for 16 miles, so the views would be pretty phenomenal, too.
The project is expected to cost $2.5 billion, which seems like a lot, but city officials said it'd be significantly less expensive than a new underground subway line.
Under de Blasio's plan, construction would start in 2019, and after studies and community review, service wouldn't begin until 2024.
Which is a long time.
Alicia Glen, the deputy mayor for housing and economic development, said the city will face "some significant engineering challenges when you are putting a modern system like this in a very old city."
"The old transportation system was a hub-and-spoke approach, where people went into Manhattan for work and came back out," Glen said. "This is about mapping transit to the future of New York."
The specifics of the car's routes? They'd travel about 12 miles per hour, with trips between Greenpoint and DUMBO taking about 27 minutes, which is less time than it currently takes by subway.
zadler1 Listening to #NYC #mayor #BillDeBlasio speak at the Halletts Point groundbreaking this morning. #Queens #Astoria #iloveny
"The more mass transit we have, the better off we are as a city that is growing," said Richard Ravitch, former chairman of the MTA.
Ravitch, we agree.
Though we're bummed we'll have to wait until 2024 to actually ride the streetcar, we imagine it'll go along way to providing transportation to the 45,000 some public housing residents who live within walking distance from its proposed route, plus countless others.
Check out NYPD Gives Out Warning to Subway Sleepers.[via The New York Times] [Feature Image Courtesy Inhabitat]