Queens College to study abandoned Rockaway line
by Andrew Shilling
Dec 04, 2013 | 2317 views | 1 1 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Discussions and numerous studies regarding the revitalization, or reuse, of the Rockaway Beach Rail line have caused a clear divide among Queens residents over the past year.

Advocacy groups like the Friends of the QueensWay have proposed converting the 3.5-mile stretch of abandoned rail tracks, spanning from the Rockaways to Rego Park, into park space, while others have suggested the revitalization of the train line, enabling quicker access to the Rockaways.

Last week, students, faculty members and staff at the Queens College Urban Studies Department announced they would join the ranks and perform an impact study of their own to determine the best use for this high-profile space.

“It is the perfect partner to help determine what is in the best interest of Queens and city residents,” suggested Assemblyman Philip Goldfeder. “While other groups are using tax dollars to hire expensive consultants and do one-sided studies, we’re utilizing local expert resources and educating our students while supporting an objective study that will enormously benefit all our hardworking Queens families.”

The additional study comes just weeks after the MTA included the restoration of the abandoned line as part of its 20-year Capital Needs Assessment.

Goldfeder, a staunch advocate for transit revitalization, joined Queens College last week to announce the school’s community impact study.

“Now that the MTA has signaled an interest in reactivating the Rockaway Beach Rail Line as an efficient and cost-effective way to significantly increase public transit for Queens residents, it’s important we do appropriate studies to determine the next steps,” he said.

Professor Leonard Rodberg, chair of the Queens College Department of Urban Studies, and Dr. Scott Larson, a professor in the department, will head the nine-month study to determine current community transportation patterns, along with the community’s attitude toward the varying impacts, costs and feasibility.

“Our department is pleased to be cooperating with Assemblyman Goldfeder in assessing the options for this valuable, unused area of Queens,” Rodberg said. “We believe our study will help everyone evaluate what is best for the people and communities of Queens.”

The Friends of the QueensWay and the Trust for Public Land are currently working with roughly $500,000 in grant ,money from the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Regional Economic Development Council and the city's Department of Environmental Protection for their study to assess parkland suitability.

Andrea Crawford, second vice chairwoman of Community Board 9 and member of the Friends of the QueensWay, said she too is looking forward to what the school finds in their study.

“Queens College is a very well respected institution and we’re looking forward to seeing their data,” Crawford said. “I’m sure we’ll all be able to use the data.”

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Philip McManus
December 19, 2013
Do you hate your stressful commute? Is it too long, overcrowded and unreliable?

Why does Queens have so much congestion and overcrowded roadways, buses and trains?

Why does it take 2 1/2 hours to cross north to south Queens?

Why are commuters forced to take numerous unnecessary transfers to get from north, south, east and west in Queens?

Why don't we use all our roadways, bridges, tunnels and unused train tracks to reduce travel times?

We the people who organized the Queens Public Transit Committee want faster transportation for your destination, work, home, school, shopping, recreation, etc. If your destination is faster so will our destination be faster.

We know that safe, fast, reliable transportation will help create more social and economic opportunities and a better life for everyone.

It boggles my mind that we do not expand our transit system for ourselves and our children.

A growing economy is the best government program for our City.

The most important correlation to our economy is transportation and education.

We must be able to move freely, quickly and be free to learn and train for our future careers.

Our standard of living is in decline because we have a corrupt government and society that would rather lie to the people and not live by the Truth.

We need to grow and build community support for faster transportation, including the Queens Rockaway Beach Line.

The reactivation of the Queens Rockaway Beach Line (RBL) will expand the NYC transit system, increase social and economic opportunities for all, while increasing property values and tax revenues. It's good for Queens.

The RBL will decrease pollution, accidents, unemployment, crime and government dependence, reduce present and future overcrowding and unreliable buses, trains and roadways at a much, much greater level than the QueensWay plan.

The QueensWay plan will only benefit a few people and a small area of Queens. It's the small plan while the transportation plan is the big plan, the most inclusive plan.

Reusing the Queens RBL for transportation is the best plan. It will reunite north and south Queens, decrease travel times and increase investments for everyone especially the poor and middle class areas that are underserved, excluded and separated from the American dream.

The QueensWay plan and the No Way plan are exclusive and divide our borough. It also prevents development and investments in Queens.

The borough of Queens needs jobs

and businesses for all the people so we can grow and help each other.

The NIMBY plan is called the Do Nothing Plan because it does very little to support Queens and the city.

Please support our cause and our group. We need to educate and organize the people to promote faster transportation and significantly reduce travel times.

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