Photo Courtesy of Asssemblywoman Pheffer Amato’s Office
According to Asssemblywoman Pheffer Amato, the bridge toll is “dividing communities, creating economic barriers, and hampering tourism.”
By Michael V. Cusenza
In an effort to provide even a bit of an economic boost to the Rockaways after a popular stretch of the peninsula’s Atlantic coast was closed to beachgoers indefinitely, an area elected official recently reached out to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to convince the agency to lift the toll on the Cross Bay Veterans Memorial Bridge.
Two weeks ago, the City shuttered a dozen blocks of Rockaway Beach—from Beach 91st through Beach 102nd streets—for safety concerns due to severe sand erosion.
In her May 30 letter to MTA Chairman Joe Lhota, Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato (D-Howard Beach) noted that residents and entrepreneurs have expressed concerns regarding the impact of the closure on the Rockaway economy and continued post-Superstorm Sandy revitalization. And the $4.25 bridge tollcreates an additional burden on consumers and businesses, Pheffer Amato said.
“The toll has the impact of dividing communities, creating economic barriers, and hampering tourism. Now with part of the beach closed, our local businesses, and ultimately our economy, will take a huge hit this summer,” she added. “Our business owners need as much help as the State can provide, and I am appealing to the MTA to step up and provide relief after this devastating setback.”
The state’s only intra-borough or intra-county bridge toll has been a sore subject in South Queens for decades. In January,