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Mta Update for Board 6

Elevator Work Ongoing At F.H. Station

A representative from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) dropped by Community Board 6′s meeting last Wednesday, Feb. 12, to update residents and board members on improvements the authority is making in Forest Hills and Rego Park.

Workers continue to install elevators at the 71st-Continental Avenues subway station in Forest Hills, Joseph Raskin said.

The MTA anticipates that the three elevators will be done by Mar. 31, he added.

Raskin said the MTA is also finishing up work on stairs and utilities at the station.

The authority is also replacing switches along the 7 train and will soon implement high-tech train communications systems called communications-based train control (CBTC).

Using CBTC, the MTA gets a more accurate idea of where trains are in the system, allowing the authority to put more trains on the same line while avoiding bottlenecks.

The system was implemented on the L train (BMT Canarsie Line) in 2009.

Community board members alerted Raskin to a particularly problematic bus stop in Forest Hills.

The authority moved the stop at Metropolitan and 71st avenues late last year in order to make room for a turning lane on Metropolitan Avenue.

But the new stop, which was moved to the east side of 71st Avenue, isn’t getting shovelled.

Raskin said its a common problem.

“This is one of the reasons we like to not move bus stops a lot,” he said, noting he will take the feedback to the authority. News from the borough president

Newly minted Borough President Melinda Katz also dropped by the meeting to talk about her office’s priorities.

Katz reiterated her support for preserving the NY State Pavilion in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. The pavilion was built for the 1964-1965 World’s Fair and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2009.

The borough president held a meet-and-greet two weeks ago to drum up support for the ailing structure, which would cost about $73 million to renovate, $43 million to stabilize and $14 million to raze.

The first step, Katz said Feb. 19, would be finding money for more park staff. She said only 16 workers currently serve the 897 acre park.

Katz took a moment to laud the preliminary budget proposal Mayor Bill de Blasio unveiled earlier that day.

She said the mayor stuck to his guns regarding universal prekindergarten and added that she supports the push.

The borough president also said she will reinstitute the “Education War Room”-an invention of former Borough President Clare Schulman.

Katz said she hopes to bring together the Schools Construction Authority, Board of Education members, school administrators and stakeholders to plan the future of schools construction throughout the borough.

Crime update

Capt. Thomas Conforti, who commands the 112th Precinct, was on hand to give residents an update on crime in Forest Hills and Rego Park.

Conforti said a “persistant burglar” has been active along Queens Boulevard since November, causing a spike in burglaries.

The perp enters apartments through fire escapes, and once he enters the building, he hits four to six units, the commander said.

There have been 28 burglaries this year-22 more than there were by this time in 2013.

Conforti reminded residents to keep fire escape windows locked at all times.

On another note, the precinct has seen a marked reduction in auto thefts. This year, there have been just three stolen cars reported-10 fewer than 2013, which was itself a record year, he noted.

Community Board 6 meets at 7:45 p.m. on the second Wednesday of the month at the Kew Gardens Community Center, located at 80-02 Kew Gardens Road.

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