Amazon recently announced that its second headquarters, HQ2, will be built on Long Island City, a neighborhood that walks the border between Queens and Long Island. While some are optimistic about the new jobs the headquarters will bring to the area, others fear a surge in traffic and rising costs of living in the already fettered area.
According to data collected by INRIX, the average car will only travel at 12 miles per hour between the hours of three o’clock through midnight.
But New York City claims it’s going to spend up to $180 million on improvements to infrastructure and transportation in Long Island City.
Luckily, Reed estimates that the speed of cars won’t slow down with Amazon’s introduction to the area. However, it will extend the amount of time and range you might be traveling at such low speeds.
The real problem lies with the cost of living.
The income gap of Long Island City has only widened over the course of the last few years. While some households make a median income of $15,000 per year, other high-rise apartment dwellers make a median of $133,000. According to the Verge, these two areas are located within five blocks of the new Amazon headquarters.
Assemblyman Ron Kim was surprised at the number of emails he received from Seattle once Amazon announced its intention to move to Long Island City.
“The gap between the have and the have-nots has only increased after Amazon settled into part of Seattle, only inflating housing prices and hurting middle class families. The same thing is going to happen here,” Kim claims.
This could make life even more difficult for those who struggle with health issues and other socioeconomic disadvantages. The average cost of a nursing facility in the Long Island area is typically $15,000 per month. This is the amount that some people in Long Island City make in a year.
Though Amazon claims it plans to invest in community and development in the area, onlookers can only watch and see if the wage gap continues to grow.