Brooklyn Queens Connector public hearing to be held in Astoria

Residents along the proposed Brooklyn Queens Connector will get their first opportunity to provide public input on Monday evening.

The city invites commuters impacted by Mayor Bill de Blasio’s $2.5 billion streetcar plan to the Variety Boys and Girls Club in Astoria at 6 p.m. for the first of a series of public “visioning sessions.”

The New York City Economic Development Corporation and city Department of Transportation will have representatives on hand, including NYCEDC president Maria Torres-Springer, to discuss early ideas and suggestions for the 16-mile waterfront route that would connect Sunset Park to Astoria.

Attendees will be shown a presentation on the BQX. They’ll then be broken up into small groups for focused discussions about travel patterns and streetscape preferences.

De Blasio proposed the project at his annual State of the City address in February as a means to support the rapid housing and job growth along a corridor that he believes is underserved by mass transit. Preliminary estimates from the city suggest that the BQX would carry 45,000 to 50,000 riders daily. Streetcars would travel at approximately 12 miles per hour, making stops about every half mile along the route.

Public input will continue over the course of the next three months as WSP/Parsons Brinkerhoff puts together a detailed report on the plan. A second visioning session is scheduled for May 19 at 6 p.m. at the Red Hook Recreation Center in Brooklyn. More sessions will be planned for the Sunset Park, Cobble Hill, Williamsburg, Brooklyn Heights and Greenpoint neighborhoods, according to the NYCEDC’s website.

The city has yet to announce details for the system, like whether fares will be integrated with the MTA’s payment system or where the streetcar will be given the dedicated right of way along the route.