Bob Diamond–the same guy who rediscovered an old rail tunnel under Atlantic Avenue in the ’8os, then sued the city when they cut off his access to it in 2011–wants to make a more publicly accessible Red Hook. Diamond envisions a streetcar system that would connect the neighborhood to Downtown Brooklyn, shuttling straphangers back and forth to the transit-deprived peninsula.
The railway enthusiast has been trying (and failing) to get a Red Hook streetcar for decades, but this time, he’s teamed up with a businessman for making progress on farfetched ideas: John Quadrozzi Jr., the oft-embattled concrete mogul who wants to turn toxic Gowanus Canal sludge into new land on the Red Hook waterfront (land that Quadrozzi himself would control, of course).
“I realized now that no man is an island unto himself and that there has to be a number of organizations to make this happen,” Diamond told the Brooklyn Paper of the alliance. “Instead of Bob Diamond trying to do it alone, now I’m building a grassroots consortium of other organizations whose neighborhoods would benefit from the implementation of the streetcar project.”
According to Diamond, the project, which includes an excavation of the old Atlantic Avenue tunnel, would cost a cool $50 million, a figure he plans to raise through federal grants. He hopes to start moving on the streetcars when the next mayor is elected.