40 The QUEE NS Courier • october 23, 2014 for breaking news visit www.queenscourier.com editorial letters PASSENGER STATION FOR SUNNYSIDE YARDS NEEDED “Sunnyside Yards development back in discussion with possible study” (Liam La Guerre) and “Whitestone resident petitions again for Metro-North stops in western Queens” (Angy Altamirano—Oct. 9) have something in common. In 1998, as part of the proposed MTA Long Island Rail Road Eastside Access project, construction of a passenger station was considered for Sunnyside Yard. It would have provided access to the growing Long Island City business district. Fast forward 16 years to today. There has been incredible residential and commercial growth in neighborhoods adjacent to Sunnyside Yard. Imagine the benefits to both residents and commuters if this station was built. Consider the possible travel options if a Metro-North connection from the New Haven line via the Hell Gate Bridge to Grand Central Station reached beneficial use along with LIRR Eastside Access and both provided service to a Sunnyside Yard station. Larry Penner, Great Neck RESTORE THE ROCKAWAY BEACH LINE As a lifelong resident of southern Queens, I salute The Courier Sun for its editorial “Park the QueensWay.” It appeared in the Oct. 16 issue and advocated instead the reactivation of the Rockaway Beach Line (RBL) of the Long Island Railroad (LIRR). A park would certainly add a touch of nature and a little beauty. But we in southern Queens who have limited transportation choices know how desperately additional options are needed. Anyone traveling southbound on Woodhaven and Cross Bay boulevards (W/CB) from 3 p.m. to well after 7 p.m. knows how slowly the traffic moves. There is no alternative for vehicles travelling south from Queens Boulevard along W/CB heading anywhere in the vicinity of those roads or going to either the Rockaway Peninsula or Belt Parkway. As late as the mid-1960s much of southern Queens resembled a suburban town on Long Island. I can remember cobblestone roads and schools constructed entirely of wood. Most of Howard Beach didn’t exist. There were far fewer businesses and there was no casino at Aqueduct. For most, the only option into Manhattan was the A train. The population south of Atlantic Avenue was approximately half of what it is now. Estimates by the City Planning Commission and Census Bureau, along with current immigration trends, forecast an increase of 200,000 residents in the next two to three decades. The current roads cannot sustain such an increase, and there is little room for additional roads and highways. The RBL already exists. Although badly in need of repair and reinforcement, it is the most viable option for a part of the city which severely needs transportation. Yes, it will be costly. That, however, will be repaid by the congestion it will alleviate, accidents eliminated, as well as revenue. Revival of the line will bring in business, gamblers and tourism. Steven Aiello, Howard Beach WHY NOT PARKS AND TRANSPORTATION? I just read your editorial “Park the QueensWay” and wish to comment as follows: The debate on whether there should be either a QueensWay Park or public transit on the old Rockaway Branch rail line, now owned by the City of New York, is misplaced. There should be both. An elevated people mover system, similar to that which SkyTran, a NASA Act company, is developing for Tel Aviv, can provide sufficient capacity to accommodate the current public transit needs of the surrounding communities in an architecturally appealing manner that would not detract from the parklike nature of QueensWay. SkyTran’s cabs operate on prefabricated guideway rails that are elevated about 20 feet above the ground, would be relatively silent in operation (as they operate on a maglev system), are energy efficient and can be developed at fraction of the cost of any rail system and operate and be maintained at the cost of bus fare per rider. Additionally, it will be part of the transit system of the 21st century, allowing Queens to demonstrate a progressive approach in addressing its transportation issues; providing much needed transit services to surrounding communities and relieving traffic congestion from nearby arterial streets. There are other advantages and economies to this mode of transit, such as at call service (through smart phones or the Internet) and being able to adjust capacity to ridership demand (not having to run scheduled service a night when demand is negligible but still being able to service passengers as needed). Research into such a transportation system that enables us to meet both the recreational and transit needs of our Queens communities, residents and businesses would be time well spent. Howard Hecht, Fresh Meadows ABOUT TIME At last, someone – two someones actually – decided to stop complaining about the disastrous state of Queens’ airports and actually promised to do something. Two of the most visible critics of LaGuardia Airport, Vice President Joe Biden and Gov. Andrew Cuomo, announced plans for a design competition to modernize the forlorn facility, which Biden likened to a “third-world country.” As if. LaGuardia would need to improve by several orders of magnitude to earn third-world status. We’ll skip the details. Anyone who has travelled through LGA has earned the right not to hear other people’s horror stories. And JFK, also on the politicians’ docket for improvement, is not only a gateway to New York, but a gateway to this country, having welcomed millions and millions and millions of tourists and immigrants. For all the attempts at modernizing the airports, neither offers much of a welcome these days – and as a point of egress, they offer passengers only the joy of leaving. So, nice press conference and good intentions. Nothing to complain about there, but we’re withholding judgment until the designs roll in and the improvements take off. SUBWAY SURFING There is much excitement about the expansion of Wi-Fi and wireless service in subway stations, including a rather substantial foray into Queens. We’re happy to get our share of the transit goodies and it’s nice – for a change – not to be overlooked. We know that the modern world relies on the Internet and wireless telephony and that many people cannot really afford to be out of touch for long stretches of time. For them, we are overjoyed. We know the expanded service will improve safety in the system. But we mourn the absolute bliss of being completely unreachable – with the bulletproof excuse of being in the subway. VISIT FOR MORE STORIES IDENTIFY THIS PLACE Go to www.queenscourier.com and search “Identify This Place” to find out where this is QueensCourier.com THE QUEENS Victoria Schneps-Yunis Joshua A. Schneps Bob Brennan William J. Gorta Amy Amato-Sanchez Nirmal Singh Graziella Zerilli Stephen Reina Ron Torina, Jennifer Decio, Cheryl Gallagher Liam La Guerre, Cristabelle Tumola, Angy Altamirano Katrina Medoff, Eric Jankiewicz, Salvatore Licata Cliff Kasden, Samantha Sohmer, Elizabeth Aloni Cristabelle Tumola Demetra Plagakis Louise Cavaliere Celeste Alamin Maria Valencia Daphne Fortunate Victoria Schneps-Yunis Joshua A. 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