NYU Lutheran rides aboard de Blasio’s streetcar plan
Hospital president says Brooklyn Queens Connector can revitalize waterfront
Mayor Bill de Blasio’s bold plan to create a streetcar service to run between Sunset Park and Queens, which has already won the support of Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and transportation advocates, has now been endorsed by NYU Lutheran Medical Center, the hospital located in Sunset Park that serves a large swath of Brooklyn.
“NYU Lutheran supports Mayor Bill de Blasio’s proposal to build a streetcar that will create a direct connection between Brooklyn and Queens,” Claudia Caine, president of NYU Lutheran Medical Center, said in a statement. “Not only will this new transit option accelerate the revitalization of neighborhoods along the Brooklyn waterfront, but neighborhoods like Red Hook will have better access to critical services, including medical care. We applaud Mayor de Blasio’s plan to better connect neighborhoods outside Manhattan.”
NYU Lutheran Medical Center is located at 150 55th St., a short distance from the waterfront.
The mayor officially unveiled his plan in his State of the City address Thursday night at Lehman College in the Bronx.
The proposed $2.5 billion streetcar line, to be called the Brooklyn Queens Connector, would begin operating in 2024 and would run from Sunset Park through Gowanus, Red Hook, Cobble Hill, Brooklyn Heights, Downtown Brooklyn, DUMBO, Vinegar Hill, the Navy Yard, Williamsburg and Greenpoint and then enter Long Island City in Queens before moving on to Astoria.
The impetus for the line has been the tremendous growth in Brooklyn and Queens waterfront areas, according to the mayor.
“We’re now seeing explosive growth on the waterfront in Brooklyn and Queens. Today, we take the next great step in connecting New Yorkers to the heart of our new economy for New York,” the Associated Press quoted de Blasio as saying.
The streetcar would give Brooklyn riders a more direct route to Queens without detouring into Manhattan on the current F, N and R lines, the Brooklyn Eagle reported on Thursday. Riders would not need to walk long distances to the waterfront from G train stops that are further inland.
Interest in the proposed streetcar service has also grown because of the possible two-year shutdown of the L train, which would hit Williamsburg and Bushwick riders hard, the Eagle reported.
Caine sounded a note of caution in her endorsement of the plan. “We hope, however, that this project will not upend the culturally diverse neighborhoods that we cherish in Brooklyn, and will instead allow for stronger preservation efforts,” she stated.
“Our mission is to put the powers of City Hall to work to help all of our neighborhoods thrive and prosper,” de Blasio stated, according to the prepared text of his speech.
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