The many empty seats in the Milton G. Bassin Performing Arts Center at York College in Jamaica, where the Metropolitan Transportation Authority held a hearing Dec. 3 on proposed fare and toll hikes set to take effect in March, did little to deter those in attendance from expressing their views.
Most of the speakers who did show up shared common concerns: rising financial burdens from the rate increases and dissatisfaction with various aspects of the transit system.
Drivers and mass transit riders all will be digging a little deeper into their pockets come March, when the Metropolitan Transportation Authority is expected to enact one of two proposed fare-increase plans.
One proposal would increase the base cost of a MetroCard fare to $2.75, up from the present $2.50. Riders would get a bonus of 11 percent with a purchase of $5.50. The base fare under Proposal 2 would keep fares at $2.50, but would eliminate the bonus for the purchase of multiple rides.
Ongoing paving work will result in some lane closures on the Throgs Neck Bridge this weekend.
Two New York icons, the Whitestone Bridge and the 1939 World’s Fair, celebrate their 75th anniversaries this year.
In their honor, the Queens Library and the Queens Historical Society have joined forces to recognize the connection between the two with an extensive photo exhibition on view at the Whitestone branch of the library. The exhibit is free and open to the public.
State Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) announced Tuesday a six-point economic plan for Queens to increase employment and attract businesses to the borough.
The senator wants to reform the state Brownfield program for polluted areas. Under his plan, Empire State Development would purchase contaminated sites and finance construction. They would be sold for $1 with the stipulations that businesses provide a living wage and other requirements.
Poet Walt Whitman may have summed it up best: “I have reason to bless the breeze that wafted me to Whitestone.”
Whitman taught school in the community in the winter of 1840 through the next spring, focusing on local history and journalism. And although he decried the “money-making spirit” in Whitestone, he loved the water views: “We are close on the sound. It is a beautiful thing to see the vessels, sometimes a hundred or more, all in sight at once, and moving so gracefully on the water.”
Wildlife expert Chris Nadareski of the city’s Department of Environmental Protection recently banded seven newly hatched peregrine falcon chicks who were born this spring atop MTA bridges in Queens.
Two females and a male are at the 215-foot Rockaway tower of the Marine Parkway-Gil Hodges Memorial Bridge. Two males and two females were born to a neting couple atop the 360-foot north tower sof the Throgs Neck Bridge.
Beau Duffy, a spokesman for the state Department of Transportation, said the agency is finishing up the procurement phase.
“We have four proposals from pre-qualified construction teams,” Duffy told the Chronicle on Tuesday. “They’re under review, and we’ll likely be granting an award for the project contract either later this month or sometime in February. After that, we’ll have a timeline for construction.”
Tolls existed at New York City’s East River crossings until 1911, and reinstating them in some form has long been a topic of conversation.
Now state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) wants to end the discussion — permanently.
Cash lanes at the Queens-bound Throgs Neck Bridge will be moved to the right side of the plaza beginning Monday, Dec. 9.
This new traffic configuration is being put in place in an effort to improve traffic flow at the toll plaza.
The Queens Chronicle’s Fifth Annual Summer in the Borough Photo Contest brought in even more great entries than before! Our choice for this year’s winner is the shot, top right, taken by Marvin Schwartz of Howard Beach of a boy running through a playground sprinkler on Atlantic Avenue with boundless joy. Cool action photo. We also loved, clockwise from right, Jayson Yee’s shot of the Throg’s Neck Bridge from Little Bay Park; Steve Fisher’s “Just Hanging Around” photo; Schwartz’s boy on a scooter; Debbie Caponigro’s loving tribute to her beautiful late cat Oreo; Lisa Florio’s study of her daughter Alyssa’s search for seashells at Charles Park; and Marisol Cordova’s “Rainbow and Retail” photo. As the winner, Schwartz will get free passes to one of several family-friendly entertainment events in or around the city that he can choose from. Be sure to keep an eye out for our Holiday Photo Contest, starting in late November!
Jayson Yee’s shot of the Throg’s Neck Bridge from Little Bay Park.
One Queens-bound lane leading from the toll plaza of the Throgs Neck Bridge will be closed this weekend beginning at 10 p.m. Friday in order to accommodate repaving work. The lane will reopen at 5 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 19.
An additional lane will be closed during overnight hours.
Three Peregrine falcon chicks sport new tracking bands at their parents’ nest atop the north tower of the Throgs Neck Bridge.
Wildlife specialist Chris Nadareski of the city's Department of Environmental Protection prepares to measure and band the three Peregrine falcon chicks that hatched this spring an the north tower of the Throgs Neck Bridge.
Aside from the usual array of sneakers, knee socks and uniforms, the parents of a Catholic Youth Organization collective that uses Little Bay Park’s soccer fields have grown accustomed to bringing one extra piece of equipment: first-aid kits.
Every weekend children take the field at Little Bay Park, they’re running a high risk of leaving with bloodied extremities, according to parent and Malba Gardens Civic Association president Alfredo Centola.
The New York City Police Department is asking for the public’s assistance in identifying the residence of a woman found Friday, March 29 at 4:16 p.m. walking along the Cross Island Parkway at the Throgs Neck Bridge in Whitestone.
The woman told investigators she is Hwang Soo Ha and that she is 86 years old.
The price of a bus or subway ride will jump to $2.50 at 2 a.m. on Sunday, March 3, as the Metropolitan Transportation Authority implements fare and toll hikes that were approved back in December.
A $1 “green” surcharge will begin applying to new purchases of MetroCards bought at subway stations, a move deemed an incentive for people to continue to refill and reuse existing cards until they expire.
No one is really sure why trains and Christmas became associated with each other. After all, Santa Claus delivers presents via sleigh and reindeer, not train. Some say trains symbolize “coming and going,” and as such fit the season in which years come to an end and new ones begin. Perhaps it’s simpler than that; toy trains are popular gift items for children.
Either way, trains and Christmas go together like barbecue grills and Memorial Day. Many put model trains under their Christmas tree and have them circle through a tiny town. Trains were further embedded into the Christmas psyche in 2004 when the popular holiday film “The Polar Express” was released.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority will host a public hearing in Queens on Thursday night, Nov. 15, to take input on four proposed fare hike schedules for public transportation in the city.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is previewing its proposals for fare and toll hikes in the spring, and the critics’ reviews are scathing.
Four possibilities, which will be subject to public hearings throughout the city and the region, are aimed at increasing revenue by $450 million, which the agency says will balance its budget next year.
SPECIAL TRAFFIC ADVISORY
The Queens 10K takes over Flushing Meadows Park Sunday, July 1 from 8 a.m. to noon. No street closures are involved.
It’s a busy month at Citi Field: The Mets play the Phillies 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 3, 1 p.m. Wednesday, July 4 and 7 p.m. Thursday, July 5; and the Cubs 7 p.m. Friday, July 6, 4 p.m. Saturday, July 7, 1 p.m. Sunday, July 8. They face the Dodgers 7 p.m. Friday, July 20, 1 p.m. Saturday, July 21 and 1 p.m. Sunday, July 22; and the Nationals 7 p.m. Monday, July 23 and noon Tuesday, July 24.
As of Tuesday, Valentino’s on the Green is no more. The upscale restaurant on the grounds of the Clearview Golf Course in Bayside is now Patrizia’s of Bayside.
Valentino’s opened in 2010, following a $3 million refurbishing by the Friendship Restaurant Group. The group was the concessionaire selected by the Parks Department, which gave it a 17-year lease.