If you have ever visited Red Hook, you know that getting there is not easy. According to this map by Urban Design Forum almost all of Red Hook exists in a transit desert, an area that is more than a half-mile from a rail transit stop and a quarter-mile from high-quality bus service.
We spoke with Deirdre who lives in Red Hook to tell us about her commuting experience to DUMBO.
What is your commute like?
I only live two miles from work but it can take me up to an hour on multiple buses or a bus to a train to get there. Right now, commuting via the ferry is the quickest way, but with high demand and limited space, we need another option to get north. It only takes me 15 minutes and has a beautiful view, but it doesn’t come frequently enough.
The quickest route without the ferry is taking the B61 to Jay St. MetroTech then hopping on the F train to York Street. The bus comes every 15 to 20 minutes but usually gets stuck in traffic downtown, so my morning commute is a bit hectic. I like that the BQX would have its’ own path so it would go faster than a bus. Of course, there’s also walking and biking – I’ve tried them all! Using the waterfront as a possible route is a super cool idea. It’s very beautiful and often off the beaten path for people.
I’m not the only one who has a challenging commute — most Red Hook residents have a hard time getting around. The closest train station is Smith and 9th street. It’s a long walk for many people in the area and the station has elevators that are often broken and these huge staircases that can be hard to climb. Having something that’s street level, easy to board and accessible would be huge for people with mobility issues.
The Brooklyn Queens Connector sounds really great for me! My boyfriend lives in Bushwick and it’s very hard to commute from the south to north in Brooklyn. Having more options to get from point A to point B would be amazing, especially when the weather isn’t as nice as it is now.
I think the BQX will be good for Red Hook too. I think a lot of people are hesitant to go there because it’s out of the way and they don’t know how to get there. I think a new transit option can help solve that problem. There are some restaurants that close at 2pm because they can only be open during certain hours to serve the people who work in the area. Right now, with the exception of Fairway, Red Hook is mostly ‘mom and pop’ shops and it would be good to have those businesses supported. There’s not that many businesses so it would be nice to have support for them to grow. I think the BQX would benefit the community and support local businesses.
I think the first trip I would take on the BQX would be to Long Island City to check out MoMA PS1. The biggest complaint I have about public transit here is the number of areas it could serve but doesn’t.There’s places I don’t go because it’s like going to a different country basically. Getting up to Astoria – how am I going to do that? The BQX would change the landscape of what’s accessible.