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Brooklyn Streetcar Project Up for Discussion in Crown Heights

 A rendering of the proposed Brooklyn-Queens Connector on Berry Street in Williamsburg.
A rendering of the proposed Brooklyn-Queens Connector on Berry Street in Williamsburg.
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Courtesy of the Department of Transportation

CROWN HEIGHTS — Curious about the city’s big streetcar project proposed for the Brooklyn and Queens waterfront? Now’s your chance to hear about it from the source.

The city’s project director for the Brooklyn Queens Connector (BQX) streetcar, Adam Giambrone, will discuss the transit proposal with Crown Heights residents at a public meeting scheduled for Tuesday at the transportation committee for Brooklyn Community Board 8, the board said.

Giambrone will make a presentation about the streetcar project, known as BQX, which would connect 16 miles of waterfront neighborhoods in Brooklyn and Queens for $2.5 billion, according to the city’s proposal.

The proposed routes for the streetcar do not pass through the CB8 district of Prospect Heights, Crown Heights and Weeksville; the closest the streetcar will get to the area is DUMBO. An earlier draft of the plan called for a two-mile track spur to Downtown Brooklyn from DUMBO, but that part of the plan has been nixed from more recent proposed maps.

► READ: Possible Streetcar Routes for Brooklyn-Queens Connector Released by City

Officials have said the streetcar fare will be $2.75, the same as the subway, though MTA officials are set to vote Wednesday on a system-wide fare hike increase to $3. However, there's no guarantee riders will get a free transfer between the BQX and the subway and bus systems.

Tuesday's meeting is part of a series of public sessions with Giambrone and the Department of Transportation held all over Brooklyn and Queens in past months to gather input and answer questions about the project. Another public meeting with Giambrone, conducted by phone, is scheduled for Thursday evening, according to the NYC Economic Development Corporation.

Adam Giambrone, director of the BQX streetcar project for the city, will conduct a by-phone town hall meeting on the project on Thursday, according to an online posting about the event from the NYC EDC.

Many residents, particularly in Red Hook and Downtown Brooklyn, have voiced concerns with the project at past meetings, raising issues about the price tag, routes and feasibility of the project.

The plan for the BQX, however, is far from final. Before any work can begin, the BQX needs city approval, the process for which may start next year, officials have said. According to past estimates from the DOT, construction wouldn’t begin until 2019 and the first streetcars would start running in 2024.

CB8’s meeting on the BQX will begin at 7 p.m. at the Center Light Health Care Center located at 727 Classon Ave. in Crown Heights.