There has been talk of streetcars returning to New York streets for a long time (at least for five years), and now there's more chatter of them chugging through Brooklyn again. In May, Mayor Bloomberg was showing some support of their return, and the Department of Transportation was readying for a five-month study of a mile-long line from the Red Hook waterfront to the edge of Brooklyn Bridge Park. That study is now underway, the DoT announced yesterday.
Streetsblog calls this "the beginning of the beginning," so don't think you'll be relieved from waiting on the B61 anytime soon. Just what are they considering in the possible comeback of a light rail? The DoT's statement on the start of the study noted that, "once a staple of New York City’s streets, [trolleys are a] viable option to connect the residents and businesses of the rapidly growing Red Hook neighborhood. The analysis will take into account factors including potential costs, operations, routing, vehicle technology, construction issues and economic development effects. It will also examine comparable North American streetcar systems to determine what lessons can be learned from the experience of other urban areas."