Councilman Donovan Richards, left, joined by his staff, Riders Alliance members and Executive Director John Raskin, second from right, with some of the 5,000 petitions they have gathered in support of BRT bus service along the Woodhaven-Cross Bay Boulevard corridor.
Councilman Donovan Richards (D-Laurelton) brought his fight for faster bus service along the Woodhaven-Cross Bay Boulevard corridor to the steps of City Hall on Tuesday morning.
Backed by members and leadership of the Riders Alliance, Richards brought more than 5,000 petitions from bus riders along the corridor, all asking the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the city’s Department of Transportation to dedicate the money and manpower to establish a Bus Rapid Transit route.
Two weeks after the Metropolitan Transportation Authority Capital Program Review Board rejected the agency’s five-year budget proposal, three Queens elected officials are pressing for one of the program’s smaller items to make it into the final draft of the financial plan.
In a letter dated Tuesday, Reps. Grace Meng (D-Flushing) and Joe Crowley (D-Bronx, Queens) and City Councilman Danny Dromm (D-Jackson Heights) urged New York State Department of Transportation Commissioner and MTA Capital Program Review Board Chairwoman Joan McDonald to approve a $40 million proposal to reopen a Long Island Rail Road stop in Elmhurst.
The weekend closure on a segment of the No. 7 subway line will continue for four more weeks after beginning last Friday night.
Service will be suspended in both directions to accommodate signal maintenance and construction work between Queensborough Plaza and Times Square-42nd Street.
“Homeland [In]security: Vanishing Dreams” by Margaret Matthews-Berenson, Dorsky Gallery, 11-03 45 Ave., Long Island City, exhibition thru Nov. 16; Info: dorsky.org.
Public Advocate Letitia James and 32 members of the City Council have sent a letter calling on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to reject a series of ads that they say are anti-Muslim and could provoke violence.
The ads were purchased by the group American Freedom Defense Initiative, which claims they tell the truth about the dangers of radical Islam.
State Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) was joined last Friday afternoon by concerned area residents across the street from the College Point Corporate Park, where he announced that the Department of Sanitation had issued summonses to several businesses that he said have taken over streets and sidewalks. He called on the city to take further action against them unless the situation is rectified.
Avella said he first noticed the unlawful activity during the Memorial Day Parade.
It’s deja vu all over again in Queens as six additional emergency family shelters are likely to be placed here.
Councilman Paul Vallone (D-Bayside) said he was told by the Department of Homeless Services that it is now reviewing a site for one in Bayside.
Mayor de Blasio said he would “welcome” state financing for the Rockaway ferry, when asked Monday morning at a press conference in Broad Channel, while several Rockaway residents protested the elimination of the ferry nearby.
De Blasio also said his administration would seek to expand service citywide, including perhaps in the Rockaways.
Gov. Cuomo and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority last week announced the addition of 29 subway stations in Queens to the MTA’s Transit Wireless Program.
The stations include major transportation hubs, such as Jackson Heights-Roosevelt Avenue; Jamaica Center; Court Square Station in Long Island City; 63rd Drive in Rego Park; Forest Hills-71st Avenue; Grand Avenue-Newtown; Kew Gardens-Union Turnpike; Queens Plaza; Steinway Street, Vernon Boulevard-Jackson Avenue and Woodhaven Boulevard.
(An open letter to writer Joyce Shepard)
In response to your letter to the editor, I would just like to be sure I understand your position, as you feel the residents of Glendale and Middle Village are narrow-minded bigots because they oppose a placing homeless families in a large warehouse shelter at the site of an old factory, in the midst of a brownfield, adjacent to a chemical plant and freight railroad, in an area severely underserved by public transportation, and within the most overcrowded school district in New York City.
Aside from your opinion that this ill-conceived plan to place a shelter at this particular location should be incontrovertibly accepted by the community, I suppose you have done your research and have concluded that NYC, the Department of Homeless Services and their contracted service providers are
actually effectively and efficiently assisting the homeless. So, I guess it is safe to say that you are for large-scale shelters operated by “not for profits” that receive 99.9 percent of their funding from government sources and private property owners who receive well above market-rate rents via our tax dollars, while the homeless are underserved and not transitioned to permanent or supportive housing in a timely manner?
You are for spending over $3,600 a month to house one family for one month, when perhaps they just need a rent subsidy? You are for a system that awards cronyism, as many of these shelters are run by former high-ranking officials in the New York City Housing Authority and DHS, who set policies to privatize shelter operations? You are for a system that continues to award multi-million dollar contracts to shelter providers cited in audits as misappropriating millions in taxpayer funds? You are for shelter operators and landlords who fail to pay water and sewer charges? You are for shelter operators and landlords who harass market-rate tenants out of apartments, which reduces the housing stock further, adding to the housing crisis, so that they can get lucrative homeless shelter contracts? You are for landlords and shelter operators who evict homeless in their shelters because the city wants to reduce the exorbitant amount paid per rundown apartment by a mere 10 percent? Need I go on? I am glad I now understand your position.
The system is not working and needs to be changed. Do your research before you attack a community of hardworking, compassionate people.
During a recent quarterly meeting with concerned parties, members of Community Board 7 demanded input in the review process for development of Municipal Parking Lot 3 in Downtown Flushing.
Bids on the mixed-income, affordable housing complex planned near the Long Island Rail Road station were due earlier this month to the city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development.
Department of Transportation Project Manager Scott Johnson discusses the agency’s arterial and neighborhood slow zone program before Borough President Melinda Katz and community board district managers on Tuesday at Borough Hall.
A number of additional neighborhood and arterial slow zones will be implemented throughout the borough in the final two months of the year, according to the Department of Transportation.
In a presentation to community board district managers from all across Queens and Borough President Melinda Katz at Borough Hall on Tuesday, the agency presented findings on the effectiveness of slow zones as well as plans for additional ones, to the surprise of some in attendance.
LaGuardia Airport may not stay in the third world after all.
On Monday, Vice President Joe Biden and Gov. Cuomo unveiled a state plan to modernize and revitalize LaGuardia, JFK, Republic and Stewart airports.
Forest Park played host to what is becoming an annual tradition on Saturday — a Fall Festival.
Hosted and funded through allocations by Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park), the fair was attended by hundreds of children who enjoyed Halloween-themed bounce houses, shows and a hay maze completed with a pumpkin patch, where kids could pick a pumpkin and paint it.
A nondescript house on what shall remain a nameless street in Flushing is nurturing families struck by domestic violence.
Rainbow House was founded by a Korean pastor, the Rev. Keumhyan Yeu, and merged with the Korean American Family Service Center in January “because we saw a greater need of providing a culturally sensitive shelter,” said Grace Yoon, executive director.
New York City taxpayers paid more than $92,200 for each of the 11,408 inmates at Rikers Island between July 2013 and June 2014 — double the amount spent per inmates in Los Angeles, which has the country’s largest prison population at 18,710.
These findings were highlighted in a report released last week by city Comptroller Scott Stringer. The audit found that the city spent a record $1.1 billion dollars for the 2014 fiscal year, even though the inmate population has declined by 18 percent since 2007.
After Tudor Village residents again voiced concern over traffic accidents, Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder (D-Rockaway Park) is pressuring the city Department of Transportation to take action.
Goldfeder sent a letter to DOT Borough Commissioner Dalila Hall calling for the conclusion of a DOT traffic safety conditions study that began in September.
Forest Park played host to what is becoming an annual tradition on Saturday — a Fall Festival. Hosted and funded through allocations by Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park), the fair was attended by hundreds of children who enjoyed Halloween-themed bounce houses, shows and a hay maze completed with a pumpkin patch, where kids could pick a pumpkin and paint it. The city Department of Transportation was on hand with one of its trucks, as were the FDNY and Sanitation Department. Across Woodhaven Boulevard, kids were able to ride the landmarked Carousel one last time before it closes for the winter. Ulrich said he hopes the festival, which expanded since last year, will become a yearly staple at the park.
The weekend of Oct. 18-20 will be the first of five when service along segments of the No. 7 subway line will be suspended in both directions to accommodate signal maintenance and construction work between Queensborough Plaza and Times Square-42nd Street.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is fitting the line with communication-Based Train Control technology, which will replace signaling equipment that in some cases is between 50 and 90 years old.
Rep. Joe Crowley discusses federal issues ranging from Ebola to ISIS as well as Queens-centric matters such as the planning of a new Long Island Rail Road station in Elmhurst during a busy Community Board 4 meeting on Tuesday.
Re “A transit tax break coasts in Council” (Oct. 9, multiple editions):
What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. Why not amend City Councilmember Dan Garodnick’s bill requiring employers with 20 or more workers to sign up for transit checks to also include all 51 Council members, along with several hundred Council staff?
Councilmember Garodnick and his 50 colleagues could all give up their free parking spaces at City Hall. They and their staff can use transit checks to purchase Metro Cards. This will afford them the opportunity to join several million constituents who use public transportation on a daily basis and also contribute to a cleaner environment.
Cars pass by the speed camera on Francis Lewis Boulevard after coming off the Long Island Expressway exit ramp.