As another way to drum up support for a possible new transportation option in Queens, one local legislator has turned to the internet to gather signatures.
Asssemblyman Phil Goldfeder (D-Rockaway) recently launched a petition on his assembly website to get community support for restoring the Rockaway Beach Rail Line, which would stretch 3.5 miles starting from Rego Park and continuing through the Rockaways. The rail, which would come across the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) line, has been inactive since 1962.
Goldfeder and Assemblyman Mike Miller have both been big proponents of reactivating this line and are hoping to find funding for it to be rebuilt.
Goldfeder said that he started the petition for the rail line as a way to let the voices of the people who support the rail line be heard by state and city officials.
“As any community activist would tell you, the best way to get things done is to keep the pressure on the law makers,” Goldfeder said.
He said that he has been a proponent of this rail line because it would make it easier to travel between northern and southern Queens using public transportation. Proponents of the rail line have also said in the past that the opening of Resorts World Casino in Ozone Park and the possibility of a convention center being built next to the casino is another reason to build the train line.
At a press conference back in February, Miller pointed out that people have complained to his office about traffic congestion when driving from Glendale to Middle Village and on Cross Bay Boulevard in Howard Beach.
Goldfeder said that this rail line would help alleviate traffic problems for people in Queens. He added that people from other areas of Queens, including Astoria, Ozone Park, Glendale and Forest Hills have signed the petition as well.
“This is not a petition signed by just Rockaway residents,” Goldfeder said.
There was no specific information available about how many people have signed the petition by press time, but Goldfeder said the number of signatures is in the thousands as of the end of last week.
Although there is no timetable for how long the petition will run, Goldfeder said that he will personally deliver the petition to Governor Andrew Cuomo, and the heads of the MTA and Port Authority.
The petition is available at Goldfeder’s state Assembly website, assembly.state.ny/mem/philip-goldfeder.
To sign the petition, you must enter your first and last name, your address, zip code and email address.
By Luis Gronda