NIMBYs are of concern for pro-park and pro-rail advocates. | Photo: Kathi Ko
Rail advocates make a splash at the Queensway public input meeting in Ozone Park. | Photo: Gregory Homatas
Shortly after this piece was published, we learned that New York Assemblymember Phil Goldfeder, along with faculty, students, and staff from the Queens College Urban Studies Department, will launch a community impact study to help assess the best use for the Rockaway Beach Line’s abandoned tracks.
Since MTR last visited the proposal to transform the abandoned LIRR Rockaway Beach Line (RBL) into a 3.5 mile elevated park (known as the Queensway), a feasibility study for the project has been launched with the support of state funding and private donations. The official project team includes the Trust for Public Land, Friends of the Queensway, and design consultants WXY Architecture and DLand Studio, and community outreach specialists the Hester Street Collaborative.
Over the course of the past two weeks, three public meetings have been held in the neighborhoods where the right-of-way runs (Woodhaven, Forest Hills and Ozone Park). These meetings provided no shortage of evidence that the project continues to live up to its title as the city’s “most controversial potential park,” with tensions rising between Queensway park advocates and “no-way Queensway” opponents who would prefer to leave the right-of-way as-is.
Meanwhile, a third group has been organizing rallies, forums and petition drives to garner support behind not converting the railway, but reactivating it. These railway reactivation advocates have been working to educate the public about how reintroducing rail service to the Rockaway Beach Line would benefit transit-starved communities in southern Queens and the Rockaways.
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The Fifth Assessment Report on Climate Change from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) makes it undeniably clear that climate change is real, and it’s our fault. Scientists are now 95 percent certain that human influence has been the dominant cause of global warming since the mid-20th century, up from 90 percent certainty in [...]
The intersection of Fifth Avenue and Marvin Street, where a pedestrian was hit and killed last week. | Image: Google Maps
In one week, two more lives were claimed along Fifth Avenue in North Bay Shore, which ranks as one of the most dangerous roads for walking in Suffolk County according to Tri-State’s annual report.
A 59-year old pedestrian was hit and killed last Monday morning while trying to cross Fifth Avenue at the intersection of Marvin Road, and just a few days later, a 63-year old bicyclist was killed riding along Fifth Avenue at the intersection of Jensen Road—each crash was within just two blocks of each other. And according to Tri-State’s analysis, a pedestrian was hit and killed in 2011 at an intersection between these two crashes.
In response to these most recent tragedies, Suffolk County Legislator Thomas Barraga, who along with Legislator Ricardo Montano represents the area, sent a letter to Suffolk County’s Department of Public Works (DPW) requesting a study to determine what can be done to make the corridor safer for pedestrians, cyclists and all users of the roadway. In the letter, Legislator Barraga notes that the intersections where these fatalities occurred “have no traffic signals and lack sufficient sidewalks for pedestrians to walk safely along this busy road.” There is no word on whether Legislator Montano has taken similar action.
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New waterfront development in Long Island City, Astoria and Roosevelt Island. Image: Department of City Planning.
The New York City Department of City Planning (DCP)’s Transportation Division and Queens Office recently held its kickoff meeting for the Western Queens Transportation Study, which sets out to link new and existing development by focusing on bike, pedestrian and transit improvements. Various city agencies, the MTA, local civic associations, members from Community Boards 1 and 2 and the Tri-State Transportation Campaign were invited to participate in the Technical Advisory Committee to help guide the federally-funded study.
This effort couldn’t have come sooner. The stage has been set for the neighborhoods in the study area—which include Roosevelt Island, Long Island City and Astoria—to host a massive influx of new waterfront development along the East River. Developments such as Halletts Point, Astoria Cove, Silvercup West, Queens West, and Hunters Point South are set to bring in up to 15,000 new residential units (along with retail and studio space), in addition to Cornell’s 11-acre Roosevelt Island campus, poised to be the island’s biggest development yet.
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From 2009 through May 2012 alone, Westchester County was home to 2,442 vehicle crashes involving pedestrians and bicyclists, according to crash data obtained from the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT). And while New York State passed a state-wide Complete Streets law that requires design on roadways to consider the safe accommodation of [...]
The New York State Assembly joined the State Senate in passing transit lockbox legislation today. | Photo: Lori Van Buren / Times Union
Today, the New York State Assembly joined the New York State Senate in unanimously passing a lockbox bill that will make it harder for the state to divert funds dedicated [...]
This week, the Connecticut General Assembly passed lockbox legislation restricting monies in the Special Transportation Fund for transportation purposes. | Photo: CTPost.com
On Monday night, the Connecticut General Assembly narrowly approved the two-year $37.6 billion state budget for fiscal years 2014 and 2015, which transfers nearly $110 million from the state’s dedicated Special Transportation Fund into the [...]
Ride supporters convened at the intersection of notoriously dangerous Queens Boulevard and Jackson Avenue to recognize “all those whose deaths never made the news.” | Photo: NYC Streets Memorial Project
Ride supporters join in a ceremonial “bike lift” at a memorial site for an unnamed cyclist on Flushing Avenue and Franklin Avenue, [...]
The Rockaway Beach Branch ROW. | Photo: Friends of the QueensWay
For the past five decades, no one paid much attention to the remains of the abandoned railway that used to run the Long Island Rail Road Rockaway Beach Branch, that is, until recently. This vacant 3.5-mile right-of-way (ROW) between Rego Park and the Rockaways, which last [...]
Connecticut motorists support tolls, but only if the revenue they generate goes toward maintaining transportation infrastructure, not the State’s general fund. | Photo: nj1015.com
The majority of Connecticut voters support the return of tolls on state highways — under certain conditions — according to the latest poll from Quinnipiac University. While 58 percent generally oppose [...]