FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM DECEMBER 26, 2019 • THE QUEENS COURIER 33
oped letters & comments
Investing in transportation
is a no-brainer
BY STACEY PHEFFER AMATO
AND PHIL GOLDFEDER
Last month, the MTA released
the long-awaited Rockaway Beach
Branch reactivation study and the
conclusions confi rmed what we
have known all along; it will benefi
t overall ridership and all Queens
To put it plainly, restoring service
on this right-of-way would cut commutes
substantially between South
Queens and Manhattan, improve
mobility within our borough, and
promote economic growth for the
borough and the entire city.
Th e results of the study demonstrate
that this project is not only
possible, but completely necessary.
We’ve been informed that the
Queens Chamber of Commerce
strangely supports a proposal that
would create a public park on the deactivated right-ofway
and ignore the transit needs of the entire borough.
While we appreciate the benefi ts of public space, we
are completely opposed to a park proposal that ignores
the needs of Queens residents and are outraged that the
Queens Chamber of Commerce would choose to support
the creation of a park- with no transit options- over economic
Th e few local residents and outside interest groups
that are advocating for a park already enjoy signifi cant
access to public parkland not to mention expansive transit
options and commutes of 30 minutes or less to midtown
Manhattan. Th ere is absolutely no reason why the residents
of Southern Queens and Rockaway shouldn’t be aff orded
that same opportunity.
Th e utilization of this abandoned right-of-way would
open opportunity for thousands of local businesses and
would promote access to jobs for all of Queens- all of which
the Chamber should be promoting and facilitating; not
Even more ironic, there was once a time when the Queens
Chamber of Commerce was on the right side of this issue.
In a 1971 NY Times article, the incoming Queens Chamber
President actually proposed an extension of transit service
into Rockaway, he further went on to advocate for transportation
in the borough saying: “Over two million people
live here but we can’t get the right time on transportation.
Queens has always been treated as a stepchild but we’re not
going to be treated as second-class citizens any more.” It
seems the chamber has lost their way.
Our community has seen a major construction boom
and resurgence post Sandy. We’ve seen growth fi rsthand
with the expansion of the hugely successful Resorts
World Casino, the revitalization of JFK, the investment in
Downtown Far Rockaway and Edgemere Commons which
will create over 5,000 units of housing. Th e renaissance of
the Rockaway Peninsula has created a world-class destination
for everyone to enjoy, and the overall growing population
demonstrates that the restoration of this rail line is
needed now more than ever.
We both believe that southern Queens, Rockaway and
the entire borough would be better served if this forgotten
track once again fulfi lled its original purpose as a
much-needed transit option. We urge the Queens Chamber
of Commerce to reconsider their misguided stance on the
project. Th e time to improve transportation in our community
is now and we will continue to move forward- all
Stacey Pheff er Amato, Member of Assembly 23rd District
Phil Goldfeder, Former Member of Assembly 23rd District
Th e holidays are here and it is
time to drive with caution this
time of the year where more accidents
have been reported.
Cambridge Mobile Telematics,
which off ers an app to motorists
to track their road habits, says
50 percent of New York drivers
are reported to be speeding while
on their cell phones as they drive
and more so during the holidays.
According to the NYPD, this has
added to the number of accidents
due to driver distractions. Th is I
fi nd sad, troubling and dangerous.
Th e other day while driving
home, a woman in front of
me all of a sudden changed lanes
without signaling as she was on
her cell phone. Meanwhile, this
young woman had two kids in the
car and had what appeared to be
Christmas presents and a dog in
What could this woman be
thinking? Was this phone call so
important that she was willing to
risk everyone’s life?
Now, I’m a senior citizen and
fully realize the dangers on the
road while driving. When my cell
phone rings and I’m driving, I
reach a spot where I can pull over
and stop and respond to that call.
I wish more people would do the
Additionally, I remember a few
years ago on a rainy night when
a woman was speeding down my
block to reach a green light and
ended up killing an elderly man
and his dog. Th at was very sad.
So please, this holiday season,
remember to use caution because
doing so may save lives.
Frederick R. Bedell Jr.,
Glen Oaks Village
Never shy around a camera or
microphone, NYC Comptroller
and 2021 Mayoral wannabe Scott
Stringer will continue issuing a
series of useless audits and reports
including those critical of the MTA
and various municipal agencies.
His latest audit deals with multiyear
delays in the $600 million
contract to Bombardier for purchase
of 300 new subway cars. He
conveniently forgot to tell you in
exchange for Bombardier’s delays
in delivery, NYC Transit will
obtain 18 additional subway cars
at no cost.
Stringer travels around town by
car with a driver and police security
detail. Unlike the millions of
New Yorkers, he doesn’t own a
MetroCard and ride the subway on
a daily basis. Do as I say, not as I do
is his motto.
With term limits, Stringer is just
another career politician using the
NYC Comptroller’s offi ce perks
current position while seeking yet
another public offi ce.
As a former state Assembly
member and Manhattan Borough
President and the current City
Comptroller, he has never worked
an honest day in his life.
If Stringer was serious about
this issue, why didn’t he years ago
ask either Mayor Bill de Blasio or
Governor Andrew Cuomo to appoint
him to serve on the MTA Board?
Larry Penner, Great Neck
RICHMOND HILL REAL ESTATE // PHOTO VIA INSTAGRAM @rochdalian
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