Monday, May 4, 2020
BQX will remain sheltered in place
AM New York
The city’s budget crisis brought on by the coronavirus pandemic could be the death knell that finally derails the controversial $2.7 billion Brooklyn-Queens Connector project.
Public hearings on the state-of-the-art light rail system were set to begin May and June and the city planned to finish a draft environmental impact statement by spring 2021 but that has been postponed during the COVID-19 crisis.
The BQX would connect commuters to 13 subway lines, nine NFY Ferry landings, and more than 100 Citi Bike stations. Critics of the proposal have long-claimed the BQX project was a boondoggle that would line the pockets of waterfront real estate developers and residents and business owners objected to the erasure of 2,000 parking spots along the corridor.
During his COVID-19 briefing on April 29, Mayor Bill de Blasio admitted the proposal would be put on hold during the public health emergency.
“Something like the BQX, which we had just begun a whole phase of environmental review, it’s going to be looked at now with all other major capital initiatives,” de Blasio said. “It will be discussed in the budget process and be part of what we say around the budget in June. It’s a very good example of the kind of thing that now has to be thought of very differently simply for the budget ramifications alone.”