BQX proposal gets mixed results from businesses

A group of small business owners is voicing opposition to the mayor's planned Brooklyn-Queens Connector streetcar service.



"It has the potential to very much hurt the small business," says Christine Whalen, co-owner of the store Sahadi's on Atlantic Avenue. "It doesn't leave a lot of room."



The proposal could have streetcars taking up two lanes of traffic. Store owners on Atlantic Avenue say there's already too much traffic to begin with.



"We get a lot of deliveries between us, and Trader Joe's, and Key Food, and Rite Aid -- and we put a lot of 40-foot trucks on the street," Whalen says.



Leo Pedraza, who delivers food on a bike, says the streetcar will create an additional obstacle for him to navigate.



"I would be delayed all the time," he claims.



Other shops, however, say they think the proposal could bring in new customers.



"There's a lot of businesses growing in the other neighborhoods that I can't get to, because there's no public transportation to them," says Tina Heslin, who could become that kind of new customer.



The city says streetcars have boosted other American cities, but it is still taking input from residents, businesses and other stakeholders.


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