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Recent Articles on the Current Resurgence of Streetcars and the Red Hook Streetcar Project


crain's NY article
Deputy Mayor Doctoroff & Other Prominent Urban Planners / Developers Enthusiastically Endorse BHRA's Brooklyn Streetcar Project

Former First Deputy Mayor and Current Chairman of Bloomberg LP Daniel Doctoroff, the Chair of Brookfield Associates (and former NYC Planning Commission Chairman) John Zuccotti, and Former NYC Planning Commissioner Alexander Garvin (currently Garvin & Associates), have now whole heartedly embraced and validated our streetcar project.  Adopting BHRA streetcar project's route selection, our construction cost estimate of $20 million per route mile, as well as the types of project financing, which we incorporated into the "New Streetcar Possibilities for Brooklyn" (3.3mb PDF)  (BHRA' PowerPoint presentation on our Red Hook streetcar project), which we gave several months ago at several venues, and which has been publicly available ever since then.
 
The actual "Next NYC" forum publication (sponsored by the Regional Plan Association) introducing the streetcar line now being championed by Doctoroff, Zuccotti and Garvin is available here (2.4mb PDF)  or here is the web address to the full proposal.

Doctoroff, Zuccotti, and Garvin, are extensively cited in the article above, and Doctoroff even stated that out of the 40 projects featured in their urban planning booklet, The Next New York, that OUR PROJECT (the streetcar project) IS THE BEST ONE - and I quote:
 
"New York has never been a light-rail kind of town—“toy trains,” said a Koch deputy mayor dismissively in the 80s. Yet the time has surely come."
 
"This is the book’s single best idea, said Doctoroff. It would knit together the emerging communities along the 7 and L lines, and would trigger all sorts of incremental growth on the Brooklyn-Queens waterfront, where the greatest potential for growth actually is. What’s more, light rail is cheap—some $20 million [per mile], he guesses."  Compare this to the $/per mile figures we cited in Our Presentation.

"Zuccotti agreed about light rail, and emphasized that new transportation projects should be in Queens, Brooklyn, and the Bronx, because that’s where housing can be built at reasonable cost in areas that are still zoned industrial. He cited the brilliant precedent of David Walentas, who showed definitively in Dumbo, Brooklyn, how to convert empty industrial space into a thriving mixed-used community. Can the same be done in the Bronx and Queens?"
 
According to Garvin: "The capital cost of the new light rail line could be financed from the tax increment generated by new and renovated housing created on underutilized properties within walking distance of the new light rail line."

Doctoroff, Zuccotti and Garvin even seem keen on some of the alternative funding mechanisms we presented.  Please read the wording of both documents very carefully, especially the part about financing construction/operation via future real estate tax generated along the route (see slides 12 & 32 of Our Presentation)
 
BTW, their entire booklet, The Next New York, can be downloaded here as a PDF. The streetcar project is on pages 12- 13.  Note, the map on PDF page 13 of The Next New York, and compare with the maps page of our website.   The light rail plan described in The Next New York  even utilizes the exact route we've long advocated  -  passing through the Borough Hall mass transit nexus, then proceeds through the historic Atlantic Avenue Tunnel, and then down along Columbia Street into Red Hook, ending at a streetcar barn at Gowanus Bay Terminal :-)

There's an old saying: no man is an island unto himself. In the spirit of this Election Day season, BHRA stands ready and eager to form new partnerships and coalitions with like- minded groups and individuals who share our common goal: to bring about the return of the streetcar as a key transportation mode in the City Of New York.




Crain's New York Business
 article on "Visions for 'Next NYC'"
featuring Red Hook Streetcar as idea #1
-Aug 2013 3.7mb PDF


Next NY
Untapped
Next NY - 40 ideas that Could transform NY, from the forum of Urban Design.  Aug 2013

crain's NY article
Crain's New York Business
Article on Red Hook Streetcar
-July 7 2013

red hook star-revue
Red Hook Star-Revue
"Bob Diamond is One Persistent Fellow"
-July 2013


Other Recent Streetcar News Reported in the National Press (all external links)
brooklyn paper article

Do streetcars really beat out buses in capacity, ridership and cost?" -
 (politifact.com / the Oregonian)
"According to Fetsch [Portland TriMet spokeswoman], the streetcar operations cost $1.50 per boarding ride, while the bus costs $2.82.”:

"Value Capture and Tax Increment Financing Options For Streetcar Construction"
(Brooking Institution Study for Washington DC streetcar project) (PDF)
Funding a $140 million streetcar project without any federal grant money-

"Streetcars Make a Comeback"
(American Society of Civil Engineers Magazine)

"Tram wars! Why streetcars are back"
(Salon.com)
The Brooklyn Paper
"A streetcar desire revived"
June 2013



WSJ article
Wall Street Journal
Article Featuring the Atlantic Ave Tunnel
-July 24, 2013




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