East River Skyway endorsed by local politicians as L train alternative

November 10, 2016

It looks like the East River Skyway is getting a big boost from local elected officials. Three politicians have jumped on the idea, including U.S. Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, City Councilman Stephen Levin, and State Assemblyman Joseph Lentol. The trio together drafted a letter to Mayor de Blasio, encouraging him to back the transit initiative as a solution to impending L train closure. “This is the coolest thing we could do for the neighborhood,” Lentol, told DNA Info. “I don’t want to denigrate the BQX but this is even a greater plan to have a gondola going from Brooklyn to Manhattan forever.”

In the letter to the mayor, the three note that the Skyway would provide a zero emission alternative (as opposed to increasing bus service and ferries) and it would be able to transport 5,000 people per hour in each direction in just six minutes, with a total capacity of more than 100,000 people per day.

They also note that the NYC’s existing air tramway running between Roosevelt Island and Manhattan was constructed for similar reasons after the city rid the Queensboro Bridge of its trolley and created a cumbersome bus line to replace it. The Tramway is, in fact, the only system in the MTA’s network that does not operate at a loss.

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In their letter to the mayor, Maloney, Levin, and Lentol all underscore the importance of coming up with “redundant transit service” to North Brooklyn, particularly as the population is expected to explode in the next couple years, putting a tremendous strain on existing transit lines.

As 6sqft previously reported, Dan Levy*, the East River Skyway’s founder, has already conducted several preliminary studies and he’s found that the network would cost about $134 million to build—all of which would be funded privately—and that the necessary infrastructure could be easily deployed before the L closure in 2019.

The three pols have requested a meeting with the Mayor de Blasio to discuss the idea. If the mayor takes on the Skyway as he has the Brooklyn Queens Connector (BQX), we will see major strides forward.


*Disclosure: Dan Levy is the CEO of CityRealty, 6sqft’s publisher

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