Five New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) resident association presidents from Astoria, Queensbridge, Ravenswood, Ingersoll and Red Hook East houses are joining the board of directors of the Friends of the Brooklyn Queens Connector (BQX).
“It’s not right that a Queensbridge resident headed to a job or a class in Downtown Brooklyn has to travel through Manhattan first, a trip that can take over an hour,” said April Simpson, president of the Queensbridge Houses Residents Association. “The BQX would give us precious time back in our day, time we can spend with our families.”
The BQX is a proposal for a streetcar that would connect neighborhoods along the Brooklyn-Queens waterfront from Sunset Park to Astoria.
The corridor has 400,000 residents, including 40,000 NYCHA tenants, and 300,000 daily workers who would benefit from a new transit option that will reduce commute times and make it easier to get to fast-growing job centers like the Brooklyn Navy Yard, Downtown Brooklyn and Long Island City.
“Red Hook has been fighting for real transit options for years, but instead we’ve been stuck with slow buses that are unreliable and get snarled in traffic at all hours of the day,” said Francis Brown, president of the Red Hook East Houses Residents Association. “Our residents deserve a real transit solution.”
Joining the board that drives the vision for the Friends of the BQX aims to ensure that NYCHA residents have the opportunity to engage early in the planning process.
“While we’ve watched our Brooklyn waterfront change in major ways in recent years – from new job opportunities to new parks – what hasn’t changed is our antiquated transportation system,” said Anthony Sosa, president of the Ingersoll Houses Residents Association. “The BQX will be a major improvement for our community and will make accessing these new job opportunities and economic development much easier and convenient for my neighbors.”