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MIA or DOA? The Brooklyn-Queens Streetcar Fading Fast
Neil deMause goes hunting for a status update on the Brooklyn Queens Connector (BQX) that was once the centerpiece of Mayor Bill de Blasio's transit capital investment agenda. Here's how deMause sums up the situation:
After being the focus of neighborhood “listening sessions” all last year, followed by a winter that saw questions raised about the project’s financing and an April revelation of an internal City Hall report that the streetcar plan “faces several serious challenges,” the onetime showpiece project has largely gone silent, with little mention by City Hall.
The project has been missing major benchmarks, too:
A planned in-depth route evaluation by the city’s Economic Development Corporation never appeared in springtime as scheduled. Neither did a refined economic impact study by EDC that was supposed to look at whether increased property-tax receipts would really be “net new,” or merely cannibalized from taxes that otherwise would have been collected if development had gone elsewhere in the city.
Ya-Ting Liu, executive director of the Friends of the Brooklyn Queens Connector, a developer-funded organization that backs the project, recently wrote an op-ed for the Gotham Gazette Today to recapitulate (to borrow deMause's phrase) the argument in support of the project.
In the process of reintroducing the project, deMause also shares news of a new documentary film Gentrification Express: Breaking Down the BQX that explains one of the opposing positions on the project proposal. That 17-minute film is also embedded below.