February 16, 2016
Mayor de Blasio’s proposal for the “BQX” garners support from key stakeholders on the ground in neighborhoods along the Brooklyn-Queens waterfront and advocates for new citywide transportation solutions
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand said, “Public transportation is a key driver of our city’s economy and we should make every effort to ensure all New Yorkers have access to efficient and affordable transportation options. We need to make it easier for New Yorkers to travel between boroughs and help connect more neighborhoods that currently have limited public transit options. I look forward to working with the Mayor and community leaders as this project moves forward.”
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams said, “My vision for One Brooklyn, a borough where the popularity of our brand translates to prosperity for all Brooklynites, has always focused on improving the connectivity between our communities and the opportunities they hold. In a 21st century Brooklyn, we need 21st century transportation solutions to meet the historic challenges that have faced underserved communities. The Brooklyn Queens Connector, like Bus Rapid Transit and the Utica Avenue subway line, is an innovative and laudable project that fits into our shared vision for a better connected borough and city. I support the principles of this plan to bring emissions-free transit to our waterfront, supporting a large percentage of our public housing residents as well as our emerging industrial employment hubs. A robust public process will allow us to strengthen the BQX through a thoughtful conversation about the design and financing of this important proposal.”
Congresswoman Nydia M. Velázquez said, “This is an ambitious project that has enormous potential to link working and residential communities along the Brooklyn-Queens waterfront. With proposals of this scope, there are always many moving parts and this will need to be integrated into waterfront resiliency measures as well as the waterfront greenway. We must also be certain that working families benefit from this new mode of transit. Equity and inclusive community planning will be key. All that being said, a new urban streetcar holds great promise. That’s one reason I secured funding to study a similar streetcar project linking Red Hook to downtown Brooklyn. As this proposal moves ahead, I look forward to working closely with the Mayor and the affected communities to ensure residents, workers and businesses of Brooklyn, Queens and our entire city benefit.”
Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney said, “I am thrilled Mayor de Blasio is exploring creative ways to bring light rail to underserved areas where the residential population is growing. This is a bold, innovative and timely proposal. His enthusiastic support is going to take an idea from concept to reality, and it will be a great boon for the growing waterfront communities in Brooklyn and Queens. Recognizing that these areas are becoming increasingly desirable for residents and high tech entrepreneurs, I have supported the idea since it was first proposed, and I am thrilled that Mayor de Blasio has made this project a priority. The new streetcar will greatly increase the accessibility of areas that aren’t served by the subway and bring a new alternative to underserved areas.”
State Senator Michael Gianaris said, "Queens and Brooklyn are no longer simply homes for people who work in Manhattan, but are destinations in their own right. This new streetcar will help people from Queens and Brooklyn commute back and forth as well as enjoy the many fine restaurants and cultural institutions on the east side of the East River without having to cross the same river twice each way. I look forward to working with the City to ensure the specifics of this plan will be beneficial and not harmful to our communities."
State Senator Daniel Squadron said, "It's great news that we're on track for more ways to get around more of our waterfront. I've long supported more travel options for our transit underserved waterfront communities, as well as expanding access to our growing Harbor Park, a Central Park for the center of our city. As community engagement begins on this plan, I thank the Mayor for this exciting step and look forward to working with the City and community members to make sure we expand access and have a plan that works for our neighborhoods."
Assistant Assembly Speaker Felix Ortiz said, “While job creation and economic development opportunities along the Brooklyn Queens waterfront have expanded in recent years – including large parts of my district in Sunset Park and Red Hook – our century old transportation infrastructure has failed to keep pace. If we hope to make our waterfront a true ‘Corridor of Innovation’ for New York City, we must invest in visionary, transformative new transportation options. The "Brooklyn Queens Connector" fits that bill. While there are obviously many questions to be answered and much work to do to make this a reality, I think that this can be incredibly positive for Red Hook, Sunset Park and residents of many other waterfront communities."
Assembly Member Joseph Lentol said, “Innovation is at the heart of what makes New York City the greatest city in the world. The subway system helps us lead the way. To ensure we are on the cutting-edge, we must connect our diverse neighborhoods. Expanding our transportation network by connecting our two largest boroughs will certainly make us even better. The economic vibrancy that will result from a project like this is boundless. What must happen with a project of this size is to have maximized public participation from the earliest stages. We need to safeguard the quality of life for those that surround the proposed construction. And we need to listen and respond to the important questions our residents raise in response to this proposal.”
City Council Transportation Chair Ydanis Rodriguez said, "This is music to the ears of waterfront residents in Queens and Brooklyn. Mayor de Blasio is about to bring needed irrigation to this long-time transit desert. With an easily accessible option from Astoria to Williamsburg to DUMBO, these growing neighborhoods will get the transit needed to sustain them for years to come. This move connects disparate communities of varying income levels, bringing quality service to spur long-term benefits across the board. I am encouraged that the administration is thinking bold and hope this is the start of an even more ambitious agenda to address transit starved communities across the city and match plans for added density with the infrastructure necessary to sustain it."
City Council Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer said, “Mayor de Blasio’s forward thinking proposal promises to provide more Queens and Brooklyn residents with a new reliable transit option. I've long fought for additional transportation options for our growing Western Queens communities, and I applaud Mayor de Blasio for having the foresight to put forth a brand new transit proposal. I look forward to working with this Administration to develop this state-of-the-art connection that gives more New Yorkers the ability to visit the great neighborhoods of Queensbridge, Ravenswood, Long Island City, Dutch Kills and Astoria.”City Council Member Costa Constantinides said, "The proposed streetcar connecting the Brooklyn-Queens waterfront neighborhoods is intriguing. A dedicated public transit line that connects communities faster and more directly than the current transit options could benefit our residents and small businesses. I look forward to hearing more details and working with the proposal's stakeholders to ensure that current residents and the community have input in any future plan."