Category Archives: Transportation

Southern Queens Pushes for Transit Improvements

Transportation advocates are revving up their efforts to improve the southern part of the borough’s access to public transportation. Elected officials and community leaders called on Mayor Bill de Blasio last week to make ferry service to the Rockaway peninsula a permanent endeavor before it expires in October. Those same advocates also took to a state Assembly hearing last week to advocate for the revitalization of the Rockaway Beach Rail Line. Queens Borough President Melinda Katz joined with state Assemblyman … Continue reading

Boro rallies for extended Rockaway Ferry service

Lawmakers in Queens called on the mayor this week to extend Rockaway Ferry service before it expires in October. The $3.50 ferry, located at Beach 108th Street and Beach Channel Drive, first hit the waves after Sandy swept through the region in 2012 as an alternative to the A train and officials and Rockaway residents applauded the service as a new means of spurring economic growth along the peninsula. But the city said it was not used enough to warrant its … Continue reading

Rockaway Beach Line lands on state capital report

Advocates for the restoration and revival of the now vacant Rockaway Beach Rail Line saw their sentiments echoed on the state level this week. State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli included the project on a capital needs report he released in conjunction with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, promoting it as an economic opportunity that should be taken advantage of. In his report, DiNapoli said the MTA could utilize the abandoned branch as a means of boosting capacity and accessibility within a reasonable … Continue reading

Queens lawmakers rally ahead of transit hearing

A state Assembly hearing will test the transportation waters for the more immobile parts of Queens, Brooklyn and Staten Island next month, borough lawmakers announced this week. In Queens, state Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder (D-Rockaway Park) and state Assemblywoman Nily Rozic (D-Fresh Meadows) teamed up with the legislative body’s committee on corporations, authorities and commissions to host a public oversight hearing on transit-starved communities, scheduled for Aug. 7 at 10 a.m. in Manhattan. Each of the lawmakers have been steadfast advocates … Continue reading

Rockaway line made green in QueensWay symposium

The winning projects of the biennial Friends of the QueensWay symposium on July 19 all made use of old and unused objects that can be found along the defunct Rockaway Beach line, but transformed them into ways to help turn the 3.5 stretch of railway into a public greenway. Carrie Wilbert’s $5,000-winning project, The Queensway Steps, was brought to life in Paris, where she is studying. Ivan Mrakovcic of the Friends of the QueensWay group said members were extremely interested … Continue reading

Boro calls for bike share

Queens wants its fair share of city wheels. Lawmakers and transportation advocates rallied around legislation that would help accelerate the Citi Bike share program into Queens, where demand has already proven its presence. U.S. Rep. Joe Crowley (D-Jackson Heights) spearheaded the Bike to Work Act of 2014, which would give pre-tax commuter benefits to workers. “Thousands of New Yorkers have already embraced the city’s bike share program as a viable, environmentally friendly and cost-effective form of public transportation,” Crowley said. … Continue reading

Woodhaven confronts idle cars

An ongoing debate over Select Bus Service routes in Woodhaven has put into motion another hot-button issue: street side parking. Residents in Woodhaven have spent the better part of the past month voicing their concerns and reactions to a city Transportation Department proposal to bring new bus routes to Woodhaven Boulevard and other parts of southern Queens, sparking some heated discussions over congestion and traffic. But one potential consequence of the plan has received more attention this week as residents … Continue reading

Deal diverts MTA strike

The city transit system is back on track. Threats of a system wide strike brought constant fear to the first half of July as the Metropolitan Transportation Authority was failing to strike a deal with Long Island Railroad unions on a new contract. But parties from both sides of the debate came aboard compromise just days before the wheels stopped. Gov. Andrew Cuomo invited representatives from both sides of the table to meet with him last Thursday morning to settle … Continue reading

Bus clocks coming to Woodhaven

Commuting by bus in southern Queens will soon get a little bit easier. Numerous bus countdown clocks are expected to be installed in the Community Board 9 district over the next year. Each clock costs about $20,000 and use a GPS tracking system installed on the buses to estimate their arrival time, officials said. So far, only two countdown clocks have been installed in Staten Island, but the city Department of Transportation said it plans to install them across the … Continue reading

LIRR strike averted: Cuomo

All parties came aboard Thursday to reach a tentative deal between the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and Long Island Rail Road unions just days before a strike could have shut down the system. Gov. Andrew Cuomo invited representatives from both sides of the table to meet with him Thursday morning to settle the four-year-old contract dispute and hash out a deal before workers started the potential Sunday strike. By that afternoon, the parties agreed to a 17 percent wage increase without … Continue reading

Lawmakers talk traffic relief for Far Rockaway

Lawmakers’ pleas to ease traffic on Beach 9th Street were finally answered this week when the city agreed to install traffic signals over the next two months, officials said. State Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder (D-Far Rockaway) teamed up with City Councilman Donovan Richards (D-Laurelton) earlier this year with hopes of persuading the Transportation Department to put more traffic signals along Beach 9th Street and Roosevelt Court. The city got back to them this week with a commitment to fulfill those wishes by Sept. … Continue reading

Railroad strike looms over straphangers

A falling out between Long Island Rail Road unions and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority dominated the news cycle this week as riders prepared for what could be a devastating strike for commuters throughout the city. MTA Chairman Thomas Prendergast said labor negotiations “collapsed” on Monday, but the agency and LIRR unions agreed to go back to the bargaining table on Wednesday with hopes of reaching a solution before Sunday’s strike date. “As Governor [Andrew] Cuomo said, a strike would disrupt … Continue reading

Straphangers want summer bus boost

Southern Queens bus riders are calling on the Metropolitan Transit Authority to step up its summer service as beachgoers flood the region.   Residents from Rockaway teamed up with transportation leaders and elected officials to call on the MTA to increase service along the Q52, Q53 and Q22 bus lines to reduce congestion, stifle pollution and address the busy summer months ahead. State Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder (D-Rockaway Park) fired off a letter to MTA Chairman Thomas F. Prendergast calling for … Continue reading

Riders oppose select bus plans for Woodhaven Blvd.

Queens is still the only borough without a select bus service, but that may soon change. A city Department of Transportation plan to construct specific bus lanes along Woodhaven and Cross Bay boulevards, with hopes of installing select bus service along the route going forward, has drawn criticism from some residents who fear that traffic, parking and local bus services would be adversely affected by the plan. Residents sounded off in a forum held on June 26 at PS 306 … Continue reading

Crowley outlines traffic reforms at Maspeth forum

On the heels of sweeping traffic reforms being signed into law, City Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley (D-Maspeth) took to her home district to discuss some of the latest Vision Zero accomplishments as the city cracks down on street safety. Crowley joined with members of the city Department of Transportation at a Monday night town hall at IS 73 to talk about the newest reforms, including the reduction of the city speed limit from 25 miles per hour to 30 miles per … Continue reading