Crowley Pushes Elmhurst Station At Board 4
A trio of area lawmakers spoke at the Community Board 4 meeting in Corona on Tuesday, Oct 14, and the board voted to recommend changes proposed by the Department of Transportation (DOT) to alter Broadway from Elmhurst to Rego Park.
With Election Day only a few weeks away, Rep. Joe Crowley, State Sen. Jose Peralta and Assemblyman Francisco Moya addressed both national and local concerns last Tuesday night.
Crowley spoke about national issues affecting Queens communities, inluding the Zadroga act, which is set to expire at the end of the year, and said he supports the reactivation of the Elmhurst LIRR station.
Citing the company line for its discontinuation that there wasn’t enough ridership, he also mentioned whispers within the community over the years that riders from Long Island objected to making a stop there.
Crowley believes it should be reactivated as the community continues to grow and demand better transportation options.
“We think its a viable and much needed option for the community,” Crowley stated.
“We have seen the growth of the community, especially in light of the development along Queens Boulevard,” Crowley said.
A survey to determine if there would be sufficient interest and ridership has been completed, according to Crowley.
“It’s in the plan and all indications to us is it that it will go forward,” he added. “What it will provide an opportunity for is more direct access to the city as well as a more comfortable ride.”
The Zadroga Act, is the federal health protection bill for individuals that worked at the World Trade Center site following the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. It established the World Trade Center Health Program to help ensure those affected by 9/11 continue to receive monitoring and treatment services for related health problems.
“It’s set to expire at the end of the year and we are hoping to back and work something out,” he said.
Moya and Peralta also spoke at last Tuesday night’s meeting, addressing the arrival of Universal Pre-K (UPK) in their respective districts. They said many of their constituents have been unable to enroll their children because there are not enough available seats.
“The UPK has been semisuccessful,” Peralta said. “Only about a quarter of those eligible are attending in this senate district,” Peralta said.
Peralta spoke about conditions along Roosevelt Avenue, which he described as “like Times Square,” before it was altered to become more family friendly. He said the avenue should undergo a similar transformation to replace illegal street vendors, prostitution and seedy nightclubs with familyfriendly businesses perfect for those traveling to and from Citi Field or the U.S. Open.
The project along Broadway through Elmhurst is needed because data show 302 injuries, 15 severe over a five year period from 2008-2012, and one fatality in 2013, according to the DOT.
The project will begin at 75th Street and run to Queens Boulevard in Rego Park.
The DOT expects the project to reduce speeding; better organize traffic; create less merging near Elmhurst Avenue; create safer pedestrian crossings; create safer left turns with less conflicts; and provide for safer parking and bike riding.
To reduce vehicle conflicts, left turn bays will be installed on Broadway at Vietor Avenue and Elmhurst Avenue. Additionally, the DOT will upgrade the intersection of Broadway and 45th and Elmhurst avenues to high visibility crosswalks.
A letter on Pan American
Board 4 member and antishelter advocate Jennifer Chu suggested sending a letter to the Department of Homeless Services (DHS) to reinforce that community members are unhappy about the way in which the former Pan American hotel was converted into a shelter for homeless families.
After some debate on the effect it would have, and if this sentiment has already been expressed, the board voted in favor of sending the letter.
Board 4 District Manager Christian Cassagnol said that the advisory body has gone on record with these sentiments and stated that he will attend a meeting with DHS officials tomorrow, Friday, Oct. 24.
“We may see more homeless shelters popping up in Queens,” he said.
Community Board 4 Meetings are held on the Second Tuesday of the Month at VFW Post #150, 51-11 108th St. Meetings begin at 7 p.m.