City officials held a public “visioning session” on the proposed Brooklyn Queens Connector (BQX) streetcar in Astoria Monday night — the first of what they promised would be many outreach efforts to gather feedback on the $2.5 billion proposal.
Bus lanes might be cheaper to implement, the head of the EDC said, but a streetcar could carry twice as many passengers — a critical perk for a system that would transport an estimated 50,000 riders on weekdays.
Torres-Spring also argued a rail system would increase property values along its route. This, she said, would allow the city to fund the BQX using a cut of rising property values along the rail line.
[AHA! I think we're on to something here.]
Also present at the meeting was Ya-Ting Liu, recently named executive director of Friends of the Brooklyn Queens Connector. Liu's organization was behind the project’s first feasibility study, and is currently advocating for its construction.
While developers like Two Trees are well-represented in the Friends group, Liu noted that many non-developers are also members — including Paul Steely White, executive director of Transportation Alternatives, and Thomas Wright, president of the Regional Plan Association think tank.
[Oh, you mean reps of groups funded by developers?]