trolley

City Living, Transportation, Urban Design

trolley at the red hook waterfront

In the ongoing discussion of expanding the city’s mass transit options to underserved areas, we may be a step closer to addressing the need for transit along the Brooklyn and Queens waterfront–between Astoria, Red Hook and Sunset Park, according to CapitalNY. While many of those areas have transit to and from Manhattan covered, a north-west connection is needed (and relying on the G train doesn’t help much). An advisory committee comprised of developers, transportation experts and civic organizers has formed to address this need.

Recently, the consulting firm of HR&A Advisors (former employers of city planning commissioner Carl Weisbrod) was hired by the committee to study the feasibility of a streetcar service or a light rail line to connect Sunset Park to Astoria, connecting rapidly growing neighborhoods like Red Hook, Williamsburg and Downtown Brooklyn, as well as burgeoning business and industry hubs like Long Island City and the Brookyn Navy Yard.

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Brooklyn, History, maps, Transportation

BMT Brooklyn 1930

Long before there was a subway packed full of angry crowds and unidentifiable organisms, New Yorkers in Brooklyn enjoyed above-ground commutes serviced by a streetcar system. This map posted recently by a Redditor is a blast from the past, showing just how complete and comprehensive this network was. In fact, by 1930, nearly 1,800 trolleys were traveling along the streets of BK from Greenpoint to Gowanus to Bay Ridge and beyond. Though the system proved to be profitable (yes, NYC once ran a transit system that actually made them money), the streetcars were eventually forced out of the city by none other than the auto industry.

find out more and see the complete map here