CITY ANNOUNCES BQX STREETCAR ROUTES IN LIC, NEW BRIDGE?

Likewise, LIC might get a lot closer for Greenpoint

Likewise, LIC might get a lot closer for Greenpoint too

CITY officials unveiled potential streetcar routes for the proposed BQX connector in a presentation yesterday.  Long Island City options include 21st Street into Jackson Avenue, 11th Street, or Vernon Boulevard.  All the plusses and minuses are laid out in the presentation.

Of possibly greater significance, and a key factor in determining which of the routes they choose, are the three bridge options for crossing into Brooklyn.  The first one, is to use the existing Pulaski.  Yet not only would the use of the bridge itself be logistically difficult given the newly carved out bike lane, but the study notes that the intersection leading up to it on the Queens side would be challenging.

That would leave the remaining two options as more plausible: either a new bridge crossing over at Vernon Boulevard, or a new bridge crossing over at 2nd Street and running east/west for two blocks across 51st Avenue.  Both of these would mean massive changes for Hunters Point. 

Though my gut tells me there would be more positives than negatives with a second bridge1, it also very much confirms my initial reaction to the BQX Connector when it was first proposed back in February:

“$25 billion sounds more plausible than $2.5 billion {the City’s estimated cost for the whole project}. In visualizing solely the LIC segment, I can quickly think of a major roadblock: the Pulaski Bridge.  A new bike lane was just put in place, which eliminated a car lane.  Now you want to remove two more of the remaining four car lanes?  I think it’s logistically undoable and thus a streetcar would require a new bridge at a cost …well in excess of $2.5 billion.  You get the point, even if we split the difference and the project comes in at $12.5 billion, this is a low-ball number.  Conceptually I don’t think it’s even to close to the headline.”

Several weeks later, I went on to muse:

“given my drothers, I’d rather we skip the whole streetcar concept, and just build a bike/pedestrian bridge over the creek along the waterfront.  I believe it would get more use, and be more useful, to connect the parks and paths along the river.  The build-out would also be a lot less disruptive, and the total cost a lot lower.”

Yeah, that’s where I still stand.

//SOME interesting statistics on subway transit in Queens, compliments of an enlightening article in Metro.us:

-Queens has 81 stations, compared to Brooklyn’s 170 and 148 in Manhattan.

-Queens has only 3.5 stations for every 100,000 people, compared with Brooklyn’s 6.5 stations per 100,000, and 9.2 for Manhattan.

-Queens has 7.4 stations for every 10 square miles; Brooklyn, 23.9 stations; Manhattan, 64; and the Bronx, 16.7.

-Queens also ranks last or near last in other comparisons: the number of subway lines, major transfer stations, and subway bridge and tunnel crossings into Manhattan, still most riders’ destination.

-since World War II Queens is the most steadily growing of the four boroughs. Nearly 800,000 more people now live in Queens than in 1950, while Brooklyn, the Bronx and Manhattan have not climbed back to their 1950 populations. And Queens continues to grow. For instance, 104,000 people are expected live in Long Island City by 2020, up from 29,000.

Hmm, not so sure about those population statistics, especially the expected population of LIC, but interesting if true.  Nevertheless, all of the above in combination portends massive gridlock 5-10 years out.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

City Unveils Possible Routes for Streetcar in Brooklyn and Queens“Maps also show how the streetcar could travel over bridges to cross Newtown Creek and the Gowanus Canal — a potentially expensive part of the plan if new bridges are built.”

BQX Presentation November 2016LIC specifics on pages 14-15

As Queens Continues to Grow, So Will It’s Transit Desert“Complaining about the subway is as much a part of life in New York as the subway itself, but Queens riders have particular cause to gripe”

City to Open 180-Seat Pre-K Center in Court Square for September 2017“will operate out of a renovated four-story office building at 27-35 Jackson Avenue in Court Square”

LIC Building Used for Aerosmith Set Production Up For Sale for $39 Million“A residential project can be built to 142,500 square feet while manufacturing can span from 95,000 square feet to a studio of 190,000 square feet. “The property has 647 feet of frontage and is the biggest site available north of Queens Plaza,””

High Profile Site Remains Fallow on Purves Streettriangle lot

A President From QueensSeth Bornstein of the QEDC cleverly ponders said persons expected characteristics

  1. Negatives: lots of disruption during the lengthy construction process, more traffic/noise when it’s up and running, a serious change in lifestyle for 51st Ave residents.  Positives: a very convenient transit alternative for the immediate hood and greater and quicker connectivity to Greenpoint/Wmsbg including via bike/walking []
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