What will happen here? A (high-line type) park or will rail service be restored after 50-something years?
Queens transit advocates say their efforts to reactivative the dormant Rockaway Beach Rail line are on a roll
Queens College released its survey of people who live near the 3.5 mile abandoned rail line. Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder and others who want the train reactivated said they have public support. QueensWay boosters, who envision a High Line-type park on the tracks found encouragement in the survey as well.
Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder said a new study by Queens College shows support for a plan to reactivate the defunct Rockaway Beach rail line. Goldfeder and others want a train to run along the tracks to give south Queens residents more transportation options. But others want to build a High Line-type park called the QueensWay.
BY LISA L. COLANGELO NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Monday, November 10, 2014, 5:52 PM
Transit advocates touted a study released Monday to bolster their case for a plan to reactivate a long-abandoned Queens rail line.
But a representative of park lovers who want to see the decrepit Rockaway Beach tracks transformed into a High Line-type green space showed up at the Queens College press conference to derail their efforts.
“Queens residents say they need more transit options,” said Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder, who supports firing up the old train line that snakes through Ozone Park, Richmond Hill, Woodhaven and Glendale over to Forest Hills and Rego Park.
“This would connect northern and southern Queens in a way that is not currently possible,” he said, pointing to statistics in the study that showed almost 40% of local residents surveyed wanted to see the line reactivated.
Goldfeder also used the setting to announce that Transit Workers Union Local 100 was weighing in on the side of train service for the property.
....The students who worked with the college’s Department of Urban Studies over the summer distributed some 5,000 surveys to residents and 800 to businesses in the neighborhoods near the track. Less than 500 were returned, college officials said.
Prof. Scott Larson, who coordinated the study, said the team worked hard to keep the survey impartial. The goal, he said, was to find out where respondents stand.
The 3.5 mile railroad line stopped running more than 50 years ago. Large swathes — especially the portion in Forest Park — have been covered by weeds and trees with the tracks either buried or missing.
....Plans to transform it into a park have been discussed for years, but the concept began to gain traction in 2011 when newly formed Friends of the QueensWay partnered with the Trust for Public Land.
They have locked horns with Goldfeder and other transit advocates, who argue that a train is more necessary than a park in that area.
“Residents living within half a mile already have access to more parkland than the average New York City resident, Goldfeder said. “(Train reactivation) could result in half a million daily subway trips.
Goldfeder said he believes the rail could be reactivated for under $1 billion. The cost for the QueensWay has been pegged at about $120 million
Also, Queens College students released their studies/findings.
Queens College findings/report. To their page http://qcurban.org/office-of-communi...dies/our-work: