Author Archives: TheForum

Slow Down: 25 MPH to be New Default City Speed Limit

Starting Nov. 7th, the default city speed limit—the speed limit when one is not posted—will drop to 25 mph from the current 30 mph, as part of the de Blasio administration’s Vision Zero initiative to make streets safer and reduce pedestrian accidents. “Slower speeds save lives,” said Scott Johnson, project manager with the city Department of Transportation, during a presentation to the Borough Cabinet on roadway “slow zones” at Borough Hall on Tuesday. Johnson, along with DOT Deputy Commissioner Nicole … Continue reading

New Book Spotlights MTA ‘Art Museum’

The next time you find yourself at the intersection of Woodhaven Boulevard and Jamaica Avenue, take a quick look around. You might catch a driver or bus passenger or pedestrian heading north on the boulevard craning their neck toward the elevated subway station and that mysterious face that has stood sentinel over the roadway for more than 20 years. And thanks to a new book that features the 250 permanent works of art throughout the city’s vast transportation network, curious … Continue reading

Three State Referendums Also on Ballot This Election Year

When borough voters size up the state and congressional races on the ballot on Nov. 4 they’ll also come across three referendums, or proposals: revising the state’s redistricting procedure; permitting electronic distribution of state legislative bills; and the Smart Schools Bond Act of 2014. The purpose of the first referendum—revising the state’s redistricting procedure—is to reform the process of establishing new state legislative and congressional district lines that the Constitution requires every 10 years. If the proposal is approved, a … Continue reading

Mayor Signs Law Expanding Pre-Tax Transit Benefits

Mayor Bill de Blasio this week signed into law a bill which requires city companies with 20 or more full-time employees to offer pre-tax transit benefits. Intro 295-Aencourages employers to take advantage of an existing federal tax benefit, which already allows businesses to offer its workers $130 a month as pre-tax income for transportation. The legislation is expected to save employees opting into the program an average of over $400 a year on their Metro Card expenses. Once companies start offering this benefit, according … Continue reading

MTA Adds 29 Borough Subway Stations to Wi-Fi Rollout

Metropolitan Transportation Authority officials, along with Transit Wireless executives, last week outside the Court Square subway station in Long Island City announced the completion of the second phase of the wireless and Wi-Fi network build-out, a “major expansion” of the communication services in more stations in Queens and Manhattan. Phase II extended underground connectivity to 29 borough stations, including the hubs at Jackson Heights/Roosevelt Avenue, Jamaica Center, and Court Square. A total of 76 city stations and 47 million monthly … Continue reading

Concerned Woodhaven Residents Take Advantage of Free Legal Advice on Immigration

Citing strong immigrant communities as “crucial to our city’s growth and economic prosperity,” two area elected officials last weekend co-hosted an immigration information session in Woodhaven. City Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley (D-Glendale) and U.S. Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-Brooklyn) organized Sunday night’s event in collaboration with City University of New York Citizenship NOW! and the Association of Mutual Help Unity and Solidarity Inc. Held on Jamaica Avenue, the session provided an opportunity for Woodhaven residents to connect with a Spanish-speaking immigration attorney … Continue reading

Cuomo Details Ebola Strategies, Precautions for State, City

As concerns over the Ebola virus continue to rise across the city, state as well as the nation, Gov. Cuomo has just announced sweeping plans, in conjunction with regional and state hospital/healthcare leaders regarding precautions to help to protect the health and safety of New Yorkers. Central to the governor’s plan is the designation of eight hospitals throughout the state to treat potential Ebola patients as well as a state Department of Health Order to all hospitals and healthcare workers … Continue reading

DOT May Install Speed Bumps at Tudor Village Problem Spots

As city officials prepare to enforce the latest element of the de Blasio administration’s Vision Zero transit-safety initiative—reducing the default speed limit to 25 miles per hour from 30 mph—residents of Tudor Village this week learned that speed bumps may soon be installed on a street that many have considered dangerous for decades. In response to long-standing concerns raised by residents over frequent traffic accidents in the area, Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder (D-Ozone Park) wrote a letter to city Department of … Continue reading

Pols, Advocates Call on MTA to Bring Bus Rapid Transit to Borough

With the push for a permanent Rockaway ferry still dominating the south Queens transportation conversation, elected officials and transit advocacy groups this week rallied on the steps of City Hall, calling on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to bring high-quality bus rapid transit to a patch of the borough that historically has been bereft of public transit options. City Councilman Donovan Richards (D-Laurelton) hosted the Tuesday morning event, announcing support from fellow councilmembers and bus riders, and unveiling a “BRT For … Continue reading

In the Dark About the Park

What happened to Gateway National Recreation Area? That’s what we’d like to know. But good luck trying to get an update, or even a morsel of information on anything. And we’re a news organization. One cyber stroll to their antiquated website—nothing works and it obviously hasn’t been updated in what appears to be years—and you’ll quickly realize that the poorly managed public-information portal only reflects the poorly managed park. Tuck The Forum under your arm as we walk down Memory … Continue reading

Howard Beach Homeowner Offers Reward for Stolen Statue

A distraught New Howard Beach homeowner this week reached out to The Forum for some assistance in tracking down a decorative statue that was snatched from his property about a month ago. Rocco, who asked that his last name not be published for the safety and security of his family, said that he is offering a $100 reward for the return of the statue, which he indicated is now impossible to replace because the Long Island manufacturer no longer produces … Continue reading

Stringer Vows to ‘Intervene’ on Behalf of Civic in Sanitation Ticket Tussle

The city comptroller last Saturday briefly addressed the Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association meeting, vowing to support the civic organization in its quest to have the city Sanitation Department review its overnight ticketing policy, which has directly affected the WRBA on many occasions. “We are going to intervene on behalf of the Residents’ Association,” Comptroller Scott Stringer said, adding that his office will collaborate with area elected officials on the matter. “We will contact the Sanitation Department and we will take … Continue reading

Build It Back ‘Starting to Change the Lives’ of Sandy Victims: Mayor

  Set against the backdrop of a cerulean sky fighting through blankets of cotton-ball clouds, Mayor Bill de Blasio on Monday talked about one of the city’s darkest Mondays two years ago, the day Broad Channel nearly drowned. He talked about the Galimi family—John, Jayme and their five children—and their struggle to survive Superstorm Sandy and its aftermath. “After the water subsided, they realized their home was gone,” de Blasio said of the family’s Cross Bay Boulevard abode. “You can … Continue reading

Suboxone: Integral Element in Battling Opioid Addiction

Last month, The Forum chronicled one borough native’s descent into opioid addiction; how in the matter of a couple of years a dentist’s prescription for a painkiller rapidly plunged into full-blown dependence on heroin. This week this space spotlights what many opiate addicts have characterized as a wonder drug, one of the crucial tools in managing addiction to narcotic painkillers or heroin: buprenorphine and naloxone, better known as Suboxone. Approved in 2002 for office use by physicians by the Food … Continue reading

Queens Library Branch Marks 85 Years Serving the Community

As part of the Queens Library System, which serves a population of 2.3 million in one of the most ethnically diverse counties in the U.S., the Ridgewood Library celebrated its 85th anniversary last Wednesday. According to library officials, the Ridgewood Library first opened its doors on Madison Street in Ridgewood on Oct. 15, 1929, and was the first library in the Queens system to be built with city funds. Previously, the Ridgewood Library had made its home in store fronts, … Continue reading