Friends of Queensway holds first workshop
by Andrew Pavia
Nov 20, 2013 | 1577 views | 1 1 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Friends of the QueensWay, a group working with the Trust for Public Land to turn a 3.5-mile stretch of unused rail lines into a public park, hosted its first workshop on the project last week.

At the workshop held at Emanuel Christ Church in Woodhaven on Wednesday, Nov. 17, community members were given the opportunity to discuss the plan and give their input, but critics said that they were not given the opportunity to voice their opposition.

“In attendance at the meeting were residents of 98th Street as well as business owner who did not have the opportunity to voice their opinion,” said Assemblyman Michael Miller, who attended the event. “They were understandably angry.”

Miller said that upon entering the meeting, opponents of the plan were asked to sit at different tables from people who were in favor of the project, and that there was no open forum for community members to voice concerns.

"I completely disagree with Assemblyman Miller's assessment regarding the meeting," said Andrea Crawford, steering committee member of Friends of QueensWay and Community Board 9 member. "This wasn't segregating people. If anything it was empowering everyone to participate."

Crawford explained that separating people into small groups made the conversation less stagnant and gave everyone the opportunity to ask more questions than they would in a traditional town hall-type forum.

"It created an environment where you pull the politics out of things and sit in small groups and engage in discussion," she said. "People are now better informed."

The Friends of the QueensWay, working with the Trust for Public Land, have scheduled additional workshops at 91-30 Metropolitan Ave. in Forest Hills on Tuesday, Nov. 19, and 103-02 101st Ave. in Jamaica on Wednesday, Nov. 20.

The group is turning to social media sites like Facebook and Twitter for outreach, and have set up a website for people unable to make one of the three workshops to post their opinions and ideas.

Maria Thomson, executive director of the Woodhaven Business Improvement District, said she would be in favor of the creating a park, but doesn’t think it should run all the way through Queens.

“Leave Woodhaven out of it completely and shorten it,” she said.

Thomson fears that the QueensWay will become a safety concern.

“The police will be taken away from community to police this area because it will need policing,” she said. “We cannot spare police officers.”

The Queens Public Transit Committee is also opposed to the QueensWay project, and is instead pushing for the return of rail service to the discontinued line, which has been out of service since the 1960s.

“The Rockaway Beach line is the key to prosperity in Queens,” said Philip McManus, the group’s founder, who added he wasn't against parks. “I love parks. I wish the QueenWay people would put this much energy into the [Rockaway] boardwalk.”

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Philip McManus
February 27, 2014
Dear Friends,

We truly believe faster transportation for Queens is the key to our recovery, our unity and our renaissance.

We need to attract more people with more money to create more jobs, more income and reduce unemployment, crime and suffering.

Faster transportation with more access to social, economic, and environmental opportunities will unite the people of Queens and help them increase their income.

Fear of crime in some areas divides, separates and creates poverty.

We must unite and fight for faster transportation and prosperity. Please help us.

Join our Drive By Rally for the Queens Rockaway Beach Line, the new Queens Crosstown. We are looking to increase our public exposure.

Sunday March 9, 2014

2:30 pm to 3:30 pm

Queens Boulevard

and Woodhaven Blvd.

2:30 pm

Metropolitan Avenue

and Woodhaven Blvd.

2:45 pm

Jamaica Avenue

and Woodhaven Blvd.

3:00 pm

Liberty Avenue

and Cross Bay Blvd.

3:15 pm

Please confirm your attendance. We need your help.

We will be carpooling.

We are looking at going to four Queens locations with posters for the Queens RBL.

Please try to make it. It's mostly a photo opportunity. Fast and furious.

Ask your closest family, friends, transit advocates to volunteer.

We need a driver for each vehicle to move immediately if necessary, no parking delays.

Less than 15 minutes at each location.

We have seven confirmed volunteers.

We are looking for two types of volunteers.

Volunteers who can go to all four locations with a carpool.

And volunteers who can come to one location only.

Tell them less than 15 minutes at each location.

My son will drive an eight passenger van.

Don't forget to confirm your attendance.

God Bless you.

Please ask your family and friends and commuters to sign our petitions to support the Reactivation of the Queens Rockaway Beach Line, the New Queens Crosstown, eliminate the toll on the Queens Cross Bay Veterans Memorial Bridge for everyone and expand the Queens Rockaway Ferry:

Philip McManus

Queens Public Transit Committee