(An open letter to Gov. Cuomo)
As the Democratic district leader of the 23rd Assembly District and chairman of the Rockaway-Broad Channel Bridge Toll Committee, I have been on record as requesting that the Crossbay Veterans Memorial Bridge toll should be free for all Queens residents.
This is the only place in New York City where there is a toll to move from one part of a community to another. We share a community board, school district, Council district, Assembly district, state Senate district, police precinct and ZIP code, but our guests and potential visitors must pay this toll or be deterred from coming to our community.
We have been blessed with a body of water called Jamaica Bay and our roadway runs from Rockaway through Broad Channel. You have been gracious enough to maintain the Crossbay Bridge toll rebate program. Now we are asking that you do the right thing for other Queens residents and the delivery trucks that regularly serve our community.
Rockaway residents pay more for goods and services because the cost of bridge tolls is passed on to the consumer. The toll serves as a deterrent to the revitalization of local business that we are all trying to help.
When the bridge was built and then when it was rebuilt, we were told that all tolls would be ended when the construction costs were paid. Now is the time to move toward redeeming that promise.
We love New York and especially Rockaway. We want other Queens residents to be able to spend a hot day at our beaches and walk on our rebuilt boardwalk. We are confident that you will find a way to help all of us.