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Queens Chronicle

Rails-to-trails push on old LIRR tracks

Idle since ’62, Rockaway Beach Branch targeted as a greenway

Welcome to the discussion.

1 comment:

  • dream_king posted at 8:09 pm on Sat, Dec 10, 2011.

    dream_king Posts: 0

    I think Woodhaven and the affected areas need both mass-transit and more trails, but if you have to choose they need better mass-transit options more than they need a trail. There are already plenty of walking trails in Forest Park. This is a rare example of almost completely intact right of way stretching from Rockaway to Roosevelt Avenue, and potentially to link up with ROWs on into the Bronx across the freight train bridge. Right of way in super built-up areas like Queens are priceless. People complain about depressed towns and depressed home values, but in the long-term the future of the city is to be more dense in the Bronx and Queens. People's property values would skyrocket were there an express mass-transit line running this route. People would certainly be injured by the noise along the route, but there is a way for injury to be made whole - money. For the minority of neighbors' objections to keep communities economically depressed is not to the long-term benefit of Queens. I was raised in Woodhaven, and have walked this 'trail' many times. It breaks my heart to think of all those abandoned, rotted stations. They closed because the LIRR was running them, and couldn't make it work on their budgets, multi-zone fare system and volume needs. The MTA however, with the structure of their long-term capital plans, can pull it off with the volumes. Crawford's opinion about 'viable' track, and what the MTA has sworn to do or not do, is just a self-serving statement. For all that we like cars in eastern Queens, we all know in our hearts that the subway and buses are the city's circulatory system and carry its lifeblood. When they're sick, it means the city is sick. When they're growing, the city is growing. The time of America's cities is returning.