Brooklyn Today for Dec. 31, 2012

Good morning. Today is the 365th day of the year. On this day in 1902, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported that a grand jury had recommended that the city take away its franchise from the Brooklyn Rapid Transit Company (BRT), which operated the borough’s streetcar and elevated lines, and put the lines under municipal ownership instead. Complaints included poorly lit cars, poorly heated cars, and poor ventilation and sanitation.

Although the city didn’t act on the grand jury’s recommendation, the BRT soon connected its “els” to newly built subway lines and by 1924 had reorganized as the Brooklyn-Manhattan Transit Company (BMT). In 1940, the city at last took over the BMT, and operated it as the BMT division of the NYC subway system. Most of the original BRT el lines were torn down, although a few, notably the Broadway line in northern Brooklyn (J, Z) and the Myrtle Avenue (M) line, survive to this day. The trolleys were all replaced by bus lines by 1956.

** *

On Monday night, Borough President Marty Markowitz will sponsor the annual New Year’s Eve spectacular at Grand Army Plaza. The celebration, held in partnership with the Prospect Park Alliandce, will begin at 11 p.m. with music by the Brooklyn Rock and Soul Experience. Free hot chocolate will be served.