Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Let Them Laugh: Bob Diamond's Brooklyn Trolley Idea Gains Traction

For years, they laughed at Bob Diamond for his "crazy" plan to bring trolleys back to Brooklyn -- but they're not laughing now.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg gave his support last month, and now Brooklyn Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez is calling for funding for a Red Hook trolley system. According to the Brooklyn Eagle, in her request for funding in the 2010 surface transportation bill, she has included $10 million for “design and construction of a light rail system along the Brooklyn waterfront from Red Hook to Downtown Brooklyn, Brooklyn, N.Y.”

Mr. Diamond (famous for discovering the long-lost Atlantic Avenue Tunnel, the world's first subway tunnel) suffered numerous setbacks in trying to bring trolleys back to Brooklyn. The trolley cars stacked up behind Fairway in Red Hook (shown above, as they looked in 2007) are left-overs from an attempt of Diamond's that came too early in Brooklyn's redevelopment.

Some folks are against the trolleys. When we wrote about Diamond's idea two years ago, one commenter remarked, "If Mr. Diamond wants to play with trains, he should do it at home, with his little conductor hat on." (None-the-less, the majority who commented were in favor of bringing them back.)

Diamond told the Eagle that “This idea [mentioned by Velázquez] is precisely what I called “Brooklyn Heritage Trolley Project [BHRA] Phase 3” back in 2002. In fact, I believe the $10,000,000 sum comes from a TEA-21 [Transportation Equity Act] grant application we submitted at that time, but the city declined to sponsor it.”

Red Hook Trolley Idea Picks Up Support Brooklyn Eagle

- He Might Be Crazy -- But Wouldn't You Love to Take the Trolley in Brooklyn?
- What's Behind the Wall? Atlantic Ave. Tunnel Mystery
- Brooklyn's Atlantic Avenue Tunnel: What's Behind the Wall?
- Mole People Back in Brooklyn?
- Lineup For Atlantic Avenue Tunnel Tour
- Brooklyn Spelunking: Atlantic Avenue Tunnel Tours Return

Photo copyright MK Metz

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.


Anonymous said...

This would be really lovely! I do hope it becomes a reality. Talk about being a major tourist well as locals being able to get around in such a charming way.

Sochu said...

I am totally for this! It would make it much easier to get down to Red Hook and would bring back some of old Brooklyn's lost charm.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I think it would be great to introduce some much-needed competition to the MTA in Brooklyn. These corrupt, shiftless bums have done nothing to make getting around within Brooklyn any easier. In fact, as a daily C train rider it seems like we're always first in line when it comes to line cuts and suspended weekend service. Bring on the trolley cars!