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Thursday, December 1, 2016

December 3 is the 60th Anniversary of the Luckenbach Steamship Disaster

  It has been sixty years since that disaster, at 3:15 pm on December 3, 1956.  It is interesting that around December 12, 2016, there will be community planning meetings dealing with the route of the proposed Brooklyn - Queens connector streetcar.  Various streets are considered, including Second or Third Avenues which is close to the former site of the disaster at the waterfront and 35th Street.  One map shows the line going down 39th Street between 2nd and 3rd Avenues.  This area is rich in transit history and was near the former route of the Church Avenue trolley at 39th Street and Second Avenue, four street blocks away from the former explosion site.

P.S.   A few days ago there was a public hearing in Sunset Park dealing with the proposed light rail line shown below.  The residents of Sunset Park do not want it at all on any street because of many reasons. It is true that the Fourth Avenue subway is one block away from one of the proposed routes.  Perhaps the line can terminate before it reaches Sunset Park.  The citizens of Downtown Brooklyn are  also not thrilled about it as well. In MHO, streetcar proposals should stress passenger comfort and efficiency and not neighborhood development of fancy areas. Perhaps that many crowded bus lines that feed into the subway rail heads in Queens such as 179th Street can be converted to PRW Light Rail because of efficiency and comfort.  These light rail lines should feed into the 179th Street terminal for across the platform transfer to the IND subway.

Map from Sunset Park Patch:

  You can see the general location of the disaster on the map.  35th Street and the waterfront.  The map shows possible routes for the Brooklyn-Queens streetcar.

The picture below comes from the organization that is sponsoring the streetcar connector.

The picture shown here is near 35th Street and 3rd Avenue, about three avenue blocks away from the former disaster site.  Notice the highway structure.  An eyewitness who had a store near 40th Street and 3rd Avenue in 1956 told me that as a result of the explosion, a piece of the highway fell on the head of a young kid  near 40th Street and 3rd Avenue on that day and the kid passed away.  There were many fatalities in the area, especially on the waterfront.

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