Category Archives: Transportation

Goldfeder ‘Deeply Disappointed’ with Funding of QueensWay Park Proposal

An area elected official this week said he was “deeply disappointed” with the state Regional Economic Development Council’s recent decision to grant funding for the QueensWay park proposal on the Rockaway Beach Rail Line right-of-way, but vowed to continue the fight to reactivate the abandoned line. Reacting to last Thursday’s news that the Trust for Public Land, a national non-profit organization working to create parks, had been tapped by the REDC to receive more than $443,000 to design the first … Continue reading

Council Members Challenge Horse-Carriage Ban

Animal rights activists have long awaited the bill introduced this week to ban horse-drawn carriages in New York City, legislation that fulfills a campaign promise by Mayor Bill De Blasio, who said he would get rid of the carriages “on day one.” But the proposal, which would take horses and carriages off the roads by May 2016, has already sparked a rally at City Hall and a lot of debate. The Taxi Workers Alliance, against the City’s plan to offer … Continue reading

Affordable Housing, Pedestrian Plaza Dominate CB 9 Meeting

Aspects of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s affordable housing plan, and the latest developments surrounding the 101st Avenue pedestrian plaza dominated Tuesday night’s Community Board 9 meeting in Richmond Hill. The board voted overwhelmingly in favor of a resolution regarding “Mayor’s Proposals and Laws re: Use and Occupancy of Basement and Attic Apartments.” Proposed by the board’s Land Use Committee, the resolution shows that CB 9 officially opposes legalizing basement and attic apartments, which is a tenet of de Blasio’s “Housing … Continue reading

New MTA Report Calls for Expansion of City Rail Capacity

A recently released Metropolitan Transportation Authority Reinvention Commission report calls for the “aggressive expansion” of the city’s rail capacity through means including the reactivation of unused rail rights-of-way. And Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder (D-Howard Beach) this week seized on the development as support for the reactivation of the abandoned Rockaway Beach Rail Line. The report recommends seven strategies for improving transportation in the city. Among these is the recommendation for expansion of the existing transit system to meet the needs of … Continue reading

Reckless Driving in Howard Beach: Still an Issue?

Just over a year ago, in November 2013, The Forum wrote an article on multiple incidents of reckless driving that had been occurring in Howard Beach, eerily foretelling the deadly accident that was to occur two weeks later.  On Nov. 30, at 159th Avenue and 98th Street, a 23-year-old drunk driver from Ozone Park hit and killed Jim Sinisi of Ridgewood, a paralegal who was also a beloved local musician and poet.  The driver’s car jumped Sinisi’s and smashed into … Continue reading

DOT, MTA Continue to Engage Communities on Bus Rapid Transit Plans

The latest stop for the two agencies tasked with implementing Bus Rapid Transit in communities across the five boroughs was Borough Hall on Tuesday morning, where city Department of Transportation and New York City Transit Authority officials presented the possible plans for BRT along the Cross Bay Boulevard-Woodhaven Boulevard Corridor. Addressing the Borough Cabinet, Eric Beaton, DOT director of Transit Development, and Robert Thompson, manager of Long-Range Bus Planning at NYCTA, detailed the concept of BRT and how it might … Continue reading

Sunnyside Man Caught with Weapons in Checked Bags at JFK

A Sunnyside man last Wednesday was arrested at John F. Kennedy International Airport after security officials discovered a stash of weapons in his checked luggage, according to authorities. Transportation Security Administration officers detected the weapons—two crossbows, three starter pistols, two BB guns, a stun gun, handcuffs and several bow arrows—as the man’s luggage was passing through screening equipment, and was opened after the machine alerted the officers to suspicious items inside the bags. TSA immediately contacted the Port Authority Police … Continue reading

DOT to Scale Back 101st Avenue Pedestrian Plaza

The city Department of Transportation last week told The Forum that, after a lengthy study, the agency has decided to scale back the pedestrian plaza in Ozone Park near City Line. For months, the DOT and civic leaders have heard myriad complaints from small business owners in the area regarding the open space on 101st Avenue at Drew Street and Liberty Avenue. Many have said the plaza has greatly affected their bottom lines. According to a DOT spokesperson, the department … Continue reading

Goldfeder Calls on Cuomo to Use Part of Surplus on Rail Line

Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder (D-Ozone Park) this week ramped up efforts to help fund the revitalization of the defunct Rockaway Beach Rail Line by penning a letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, urging him to direct a portion of the $5 billion in state dollars from the budget surplus, created by settlements and fines from major financial firms, to restore the line. Last week, Goldfeder helped detail the findings of a Queens College study that surveyed thousands of residents and researched available … Continue reading

2014 MTA Customer Satisfaction Results Released

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority this week released results of its annual customer satisfaction surveys, showing a continued gradual increase in travelers’ satisfaction with the city subway system – a trend underway since 2010, when the MTA began for the first time tracking satisfaction for all MTA services using the same rating scale. The surveys showed that overall satisfaction with New York City Buses, the Long Island Rail Road, and MTA Bridges and Tunnels remains essentially unchanged in comparison to recent … Continue reading

Tolls, Subway Fares to Increase 4 percent Over Next Two Years

While it might be a modest escalation, get ready to pay more to travel in and out of the five boroughs. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority this week unveiled proposals to increase fares and tolls by 4 percent over the next two years. According to the MTA, despite rising operational costs, the agency’s budget discipline and increased ridership allow it to limit fare and toll increases to the equivalent of 2 percent a year. Two alternative subway and bus fare structures … Continue reading

Study Proves Area Needs Rockaway Beach Rail Line: Advocates

The defunct Rockaway Beach Rail Line could generate a half a million subway rides per day, and many residents in the communities through which the line runs favor reactivation over transforming it into a park, according to the highly anticipated findings of a Queens College study that were released this week. The student-led Department of Urban Studies analysis, “A Community Impact Study of Proposed Uses of the Rockaway Beach Branch Right of Way,” surveyed thousands of residents and researched available census … Continue reading

Port Authority, FAA to Upgrade Noise Pollution Standards

More residents living near Kennedy and LaGuardia airports could be eligible for federal grants to pay for insulating houses from aircraft noise, if the Federal Aviation Administration adopts new standards. Recent changes to FAA flight procedures require that aircrafts fly lower along more precise paths. Therefore, while actual noise generated by aircrafts has decreased, and the number of people subject to noise has decreased somewhat, lower altitudes and “focused” noise tends to make the situation much worse for those under … Continue reading

Despite 11th-Hour Appeals, Rockaway Ferry Ceases Operation

The Rockaway Ferry, based out of Beach 108th Street and Beach Channel Drive, made its last official run on Friday, Oct. 31st, despite the efforts of a slew of residents, community activists and elected officials alike who campaigned for its permanent continuation. Following a meeting with Mayor Bill de Blasio last week regarding the ferry’s termination, a group of elected officials who represent parts of the Rockaways, including U.S. Rep. Greg Meeks (D-Jamaica) and Borough President Melinda Katz, released the … Continue reading

City Touts Progress, Community Demands Ferry at Rockaway Sandy Meet

Dozens of victims of Superstorm Sandy on Monday night trekked to Beach Channel High School for a town hall and resource fair, during which they listened to the heads of many city agencies tout the admittedly slow, but sure, recovery process, and what sounded like the death knell of the Rockaway Ferry. Organized by City Councilmen Eric Ulrich (R-Rockaway Park) and Donovan Richards (D-Far Rockaway), the event brought together commissioners of city agencies such as Parks and Recreation, Transportation, Environmental … Continue reading