The Long Island Rail Road platform at Forest Hills could grow empty and quiet on July 20, when members of four employee unions could strike in search of a new contract.
Gov. Cuomo called for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the unions representing more than 5,400 Long Island Rail Road workers to get back to the bargaining table after Congress announced in Wednesday that it would not intervene to end a pending strike.
The four unions, which conductors and track workers, car inspectors, maintenance and repair workers and others, have been without a contract since 2010.
The Jamaica Bay Islands scattered through 20 square miles of marshes provide complete isolation and tranquility in Queens — and area residents like it that way. Some can trace their family roots back 100 years, staying put from generation to generation.
Prior to the building of the Cross Bay Bridge in 1939, you were transported to the Rockaway peninsula via the Long Island Rail Road, and one station on the way was called Goose Creek.
In basketball terms, Queens Head Coach Melinda Katz deployed a full-court press on Tuesday in her effort to revitalize Jamaica in any way a government or quasi-government agency can help.
The borough president brought together an all-star team for a four-hour working breakfast at York College with leaders in government, planning, education, transportation, infrastructure and economic development.
Pride in Queens has seen a resurgence this year, one that's both welcome and warranted.
The vehicle has been the 50th and 75th anniversaries of the two World's Fairs held in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. The joint jubilees have been celebrated at a string of events, culminating in a May 18 festival that drew an estimated 60,000 people.
In 2003, a British newspaper writing about the surprise Academy Award victory for actor Adrien Brody described him as being from “Woodhaven, a New York City suburb about ten kilometers east of Manhattan.”
They were wrong of course — Woodhaven is a neighborhood within, not a suburb of, New York City — but anyone who has been to the community could easily forgive their mistake.
Jamaica is nothing if not adaptable to the times.
Immigrants from Europe in the late 19th and early 20th centuries have since been joined by those from the Caribbean, Latin America and Southern Asia.
The architecture of a city or a neighborhood can be like the rings of a tree to the trained eye.
A close examination can uncover history preserved in wood and stone like an insect trapped in amber.
The Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge was in the planning stages for decades, building it took years and 50 men were killed doing it. But in the end we had a majestic structure spanning the East River that runs 3,724 feet between its anchorages and totals 7,449 feet if you count its approaches. As it neared 80, it finally underwent a major renovation that took 15 years to complete, but it stands tall and strong today.
Compare that with the tiny 149th Street Bridge over the Long Island Rail Road tracks in Flushing. Four years ago a $7 reconstruction project began. Two years later the city determined it was not yet safe for cars. Then just a few days ago, after two more years of waiting, it was finally revealed that the work was a complete failure and the bridge will have to be torn down and replaced from scratch. How far we’ve fallen.
Residents and business owners who have been waiting since 2010 for the reopening of the 149th Street bridge between Roosevelt and 41st avenues in Murray Hill still have a long wait ahead of them, according to elected officials, who announced last week that shoddy workmanship is forcing the city to demolish the structure and start over.
Among those meeting behind closed doors at Queens Borough Hall last Friday were state Sen. Toby Stavisky (D-Flushing), Assemblyman Ron Kim (D-Flushing), Councilman Peter Koo (D-Flushing) and New York City DOT Queens Borough Commissioner Dalila Hall. The elected officials then held a press conference outside.
The MTA has planned multiple alternatives to cover for reduced or nonexistent No. 7 line service on many weekends this summer and fall, but no one expects things to be easy.
“We know how important the 7 line is,” said MTA NYC Transit President Carmen Bianco at a press conference Friday in Flushing.
This summer, the San Francisco-based Trust for Public Land will issue its plan for turning the abandoned Rockaway branch of the Long Island Rail Road into a 3.5-mile-long “QueensWay” bike and pedestrian trail.
But the study won’t answer several basic questions.
Long-discussed plans to revitalize downtown Douglaston seem to finally be moving forward and, if the stars align, residents and visitors to the area could find themselves strolling through a brand-new plaza outside the Long Island Rail Road train station at 235th Street and 41st Avenue as early as this summer.
The announcement came at the annual meeting of the Douglaston and Little Neck Historical Society on May 14 at the Douglaston Club on West Drive, with approximately 50 individuals in attendance.
Long Island Rail Road construction personnel on Monday poured concrete under the trestle crossing Woodhaven Boulevard at Eliot Avenue in Rego Park.
The old lane was ripped up nearly two years ago as the LIRR refurbishes the 1909 trestle. Steel support beams have been encased in concrete; extensive work has been done on both abutments; and a new pedestrian walkway has been constructed. The walkway, formerly separated from oncoming traffic by sheet metal, now has a barrier of concrete panels inside a steel beam framework.
Just a few miles west of Kew Gardens sit countless skyscrapers and icons of American engineering.
A few miles east, the scenic beaches of Long Island welcome tourists and city residents alike on scorching summer weekends.
The Bayside Village Businesss Improvement District held its Spring Arts and Crafts event with booths and venders offering a range of items to spark visitors who came out to sample the pleasant weather.
Above is one of the artists, Todd Rabin, who is putting some finishing touches on his hand-hewn sculptures.
It doesn’t take too many rush-hour trips up and down the Woodhaven-Cross Bay Boulevard corridor to become an expert on just where the bottlenecks and traffic islands can slow traffic to a crawl; and where service lanes make right-hand turns impossible.
But the city and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority last week proposed alleviating all that with the creation of a Select Bus route, along with bus lanes, new road markings and in some areas reconstruction of lanes, islands and intersections to improve the traffic flow.
Let us celebrate Earth Day, April 22, all year long. Besides recycling newspapers, magazines, glass, plastics, old medicines, paints and cleaning materials, there are other actions you can take which will also contribute to a cleaner environment.
Leave your car at home. For local trips in the neighborhood, walk or ride a bike. For longer travels, consider many public transportation alternatives already available. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority, New York City Transit, Long Island Rail Road, Nassau Inter County Express Bus and Staten Island Ferry, along with other private transportation owners, offer various options.
Most of these systems are funded with your tax dollars. They use less fuel and move far more people than cars. In many cases, your employer can offer transit checks to help subsidize a portion of the costs. Utilize your investments and reap the benefits. You’ll be supporting a cleaner environment and be less stressed upon arrival at your final destination.
Many employers now allow employees to telecommute and work from home. Others use alternative work schedules, which afford staff the ability to avoid rush-hour gridlock. This saves travel time and can improve mileage per gallon. You could join a car or van pool to share the costs of commuting.
Use a hand-powered lawn mower instead of a gasoline or electric one. Rake your leaves instead of using gasoline-powered leaf blowers. The amount of pollution created by gasoline-powered lawn mowers and leaf blowers will surprise you.
A cleaner environment starts with everyone.
Body parts were discovered along train tracks in Elmhurst on Saturday, according to police.
A man walking along the Long Island Rail Road line near 43rd Avenue and Judge Street came across a plastic bag.
A town hall meeting hosted by state Sen. Malcolm Smith (D-Hollis) on April 10 featured some talk about the state budget.
But it was the transportation segment that the crowd of more than 80 at the Alpha Phi Alpha Senior Citizens Center in Cambria Heights came to hear, and which wound up taking over most of the evening.
Bus riders along the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s Q31 and Q77 lines will be seeing enhanced weekend service beginning Sunday.
The Q31, which runs between Francis Lewis Boulevard and 27th Ave in Bayside and the Long Island Rail Road station on Sutphin Boulevard in Jamaica, will see a restoration of weekend service that had been eliminated during the financial crisis in 2010.
The members of Community Board 13 long have been asking the city and the NYPD to consider safety and geography in their decades-long request to split the 105th Precinct in two and create a new 116th Precinct in its southern environs.
“We’ve been asking for this for more than 20 years,” CB 13 Chairman Bryan Block said on March 10, when Borough President Melinda Katz presented her budget priorities for the fiscal year that begins on July 1.
The murder of Kitty Genovese in Kew Gardens 50 years ago is the inspiration for “Genovese Syndrome,” which sociologists say causes people in a crowd to disregard strangers in need because they expect someone else will.
Yet Debbie Van Cura, an Astoria Historical Society board member, sees the murder as proof of the syndrome for precisely the opposite reason. Most of those who tried to help did so because they saw or heard the murder from within the privacy of their own apartments and had no way of knowing if there was any “crowd” gathering at the time.
“Commuting on the boro’s rivers and bays” (by Domenick Rafter, March 6) could be the wave of the future. Our waterways are an underutilized natural asset that can offer significant transportation alternatives for thousands of New Yorkers.
Most of our existing public transportation and roadways are already operating at or above capacity. New ferry services can be implemented far more quickly than construction of new subway, commuter rail or highways. These can take years or even decades until completion of environmental reviews, planning, design, engineering, real estate acquisition, permits, procurements and actual construction before reaching beneficial use. Completing all of the above along with finding funding for ferry boats, docks and parking with costs in the millions may be easier than finding the billions of dollars necessary for construction of new or extended subway, commuter rail or highways. Boats equipped with modern fuel-efficient engines can make a positive contribution to air quality.
In April 1967, the old Jersey Central Rail Road ended ferry service between Liberty Street and Pavonia, NJ. Later that year, in November 1967, the old Erie Lackawanna Rail Road suspended ferry service between Barclay Street and Hoboken. Fast forward to today. Thousands of daily commuters use ferries from Hoboken to the World Financial Center in downtown Manhattan. There are also 66,000 daily patrons of the Staten Island Ferry System, which connects St. George, Staten Island with the Whitehall Street Ferry Terminal. Unlike the other four boroughs, 500,000 Richmond County residents have no direct subway or commuter rail system linking them with the rest of the city.
Over two years ago, thousands of riders began utilizing the East River ferry connecting various waterfront neighborhoods including Long Island City, East 34th Street, Greenpoint, Williamsburg, Brooklyn Bridge Park, Wall Street and Governors Island.
Who would not want to enjoy the fresh air and breeze that only waterborne transportation can provide? Riding a ferry can be less stressful than being packed in a subway car like sardines in a can.
The Greater Jamaica Development Corp. last week announced completion of a deal that will bring a 400-unit residential and commercial building to the intersection of Sutphin Boulevard and Archer Avenue.
Congressman Gregory Meeks (D-Jamaica) was on hand when the GJDC announced its contract with BRP Companies, a Manhattan-based development, contracting and property management firm that specializes in affordable, mixed-income and market-rate housing and commercial development.