Michael Kimmelman Proposes A Queens-Brooklyn Waterfront Streetcar

The proposed streetcar route. (Courtesy New York Times)

The proposed streetcar route. (Courtesy New York Times)

As development along the Brooklyn and Queens’ waterfront has increased dramatically over the years, transportation options—for residents old and new—has not. The number of glass towers, startups, and parks along the East River has only been matched by style pieces on new “it” neighborhoods from Astoria to Red Hook. But, now, the New York Times’ Michael Kimmelman has used his platform to launch a plan to change that equation, and give these neighborhoods the transportation system they deserve.

Kimmelman is proposing a modern streetcar to better connect these waterfront neighborhoods. He explained that a streetcar system takes less time to build than a new subway line, needs less space on the road than light-rail, and is more romantic than a city bus. “By providing an alternative to cars, streetcars also dovetail with Mayor De Blasio’s vow to improve pedestrian safety,” Kimmelman said, adding that the mayor wouldn’t need Albany’s blessing for this plan.

The streetcar would, of course, not run cheap, but Kimmelman said the upfront costs are more than worth it. “The city’s urban fabric can’t be an afterthought,” says Kimmelman. “The keys to improved city life—better health care, housing, schools, culture, business, tourism and recreation—all have spatial implications.”

Read Kimmelman’s full proposal at the NY Times.

2 Responses to “Michael Kimmelman Proposes A Queens-Brooklyn Waterfront Streetcar”

  1. Benjamin Kabak says:

    I’d love to see the actual proof that the upfront costs are “more than worth it.” In all likelihood, they’re not for areas that actually have pretty good access to transit already.

  2. Richard Garey says:

    In the Bronx, there has been a push to restore some of the lines of the old Third Avenue Railway System. http://www.welcome2thebronx.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/wpid-storageemulated0Download06-Streetcar-Lines.jpg.jpg Specifically, areas like Highbridge, Morris Heights and University Heights and the Webster Ave/Park Ave/ Third Ave corridor that have a combination of dense habitation and poor transit service. http://www.welcome2thebronx.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/wpid-13896444400020.jpg Bringing back streetcars is an excellent idea, however the efforts should be focused on the areas in the most need versus the areas that are the most hip. http://www.welcome2thebronx.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/wpid-13896444400431.jpg

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