City excludes BQX stuff from budget

A lot of headlines have created a kind of confusion, I think, on whether the BQX is still being pursued at City Hall. Here is a short list:

De Blasio Administration May ditch planned streetcar along Brooklyn-Queens waterfront New York Daily News, April 3

Future of de Blasio’s $2.5 billion BQX street car at risk 6sqft, April 4

Is Mayor de Blasio’s Brooklyn-Queens Streetcar Dead? New York Times, April 10

So Is the BQX Dead Yet or What? Village Voice, April 10

There were mixed messages from City Hall. But we can say this: the next city budget won’t include funds for important criteria into getting the project underway. Crain’s New York Business reported this week that the Economic Development Corporation had of last month not earmarked funds that would move the project forward in its next budget. It would need at least $40 million for design and an environmental review but it only has a few million set aside to study an underground cable problem that’s become a road block.

“Leaving BQX expenditures out would suggest the city has no immediate plans to begin preliminary design work and an environmental study, which are big first steps needed to get the project in gear. Each would take a year, though their time lines could overlap, and would together cost at least $40 million. It is unclear whether the corporation would have to wait another fiscal year for the necessary cash, or if it could find the funds elsewhere in its budget at some point before then should it decide to move forward.”

More news below!

A few notes:

  • Garbage trucks will no longer be parked outside the 21st Street garbage depot in Ravenswood beginning Monday, the Queens Courier reports.
  • Someone leaped in front of a Manhattan-bound R train at the Steinway Street station last Sunday.
  • Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez says she collected almost five times the required amount of signatures to be on the ballot and is officially running for congress against Rep. Joe Crowley in the 14th New York congressional district.

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