Saturday, August 22, 2009

More on the possibility of light rail

From WNYC:

Text of the audio:

Until now, the Bloomberg administration has acted indifferently towards trolleys. Six years ago, city workers pulled up one stretch of tracks in Red Hook, Brooklyn, after a partnership with a private operator went sour. More recently, they removed another line in the same neighborhood so a street could be resurfaced.

Nearly five years ago, Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez secured $300,000 for the city to study using trolleys to make places like Red Hook and Brooklyn Bridge Park more accessible. The department of transportation says it'll finally begin that study this fall.

One civic organization, the Regional Plan Association, questions whether the investment required to build light rail is really worth the amount of traffic the system would handle. Bloomberg says if it works out, it will help meet the needs of growing waterfront neighborhoods. For WNYC, I'm Matthew Schuerman.


Anonymous said...

I find it all very hard to believe. Bloomberg is about power and he sees this as a perfect time to grab it. Albany is a mess and the MTA is a joke.
Besides, lets face it he had 8 years to do something and did nothing. Its not like these ideas are new, and the just scream of pandering in a election year.

It won't happen. They (DDC/DOT) can't even get money or a plan to finish the Columbia / Van Brunt St reconstruction. The gateway to our nabe is still littered with Jersey barriers and the traffic is still misdirected on Van Brunt and Summit.

The big plan cut the B61 in two. and My question is are they going to change it from Ikea Plaza to Concrete Plaza.

I hate to sound so defeatist, but no elected official really cares about this nabe, its just a afterthought.

Jon said...

I don't know if I can agree with that premise, anonymous. Working closely with elected officials- from state senator Velmanette Montgomery to Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez, to name a couple- I've found our local representatives to be incredibly present and attuned to the needs of the neighborhood.

I can't speak for the mayor's office, though, and this announcement certainly does seem to have at least some political motivation.

Still, for all the arguments that say trolleys would just be a costlier version of buses, I think I tend to believe that a train with permanent tracks would be enough- even if only on a psychological level- to encourage more visitors, businesses, etc. to the neighborhood.

Instead of outright pessimism, maybe what the situation calls for is further education and a deeper inquiry with residents of the would-be effected areas.

Dance Theatre Etcetera (Red Hook)