The Brooklyn-Queens Connector (BQX) project reportedly has missed a deadline to start its public review process, which was slated to begin at the end of 2017.
According to Crain’s, the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) now plans to begin the public review process for the $2.8 billion proposed streetcar project that would stretch along the waterfront for 16 miles between Sunset Park and Astoria, Queens early this year.
“The BQX will dramatically increase opportunity for the hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers along the Brooklyn-Queens waterfront who are clamoring for better access to jobs, education, healthcare and recreation,” wrote a spokesperson for the Friends of BQX, the group that has been promoting the project, to this paper. “We’re optimistic that the project will take significant, concrete strides forward in 2018.”
Mayor Bill de Blasio, who originally unveiled the BQX initiative, continues to support the ambitious project.
“I proposed it. I said I want the most transportation I can get in the city,” he said in a town hall in the Sunset Park area on Thursday, December 14. “NYC Ferry started the last two years out of scratch. It didn’t exist. We created a whole new approach. You have it in a lot of places and it’s going to keep growing in the city. We need that. The subways are overcrowded.”
De Blasio also referenced other cities where light rail has succeeded. “Look at cities all over the country,” he said. “Light rail can be added to communities. New subways can’t. Look how long the Second Avenue subway took. It took decades and decades to add a small amount more. If we’re going to add more transportation, light rail is part of it in my opinion.”