DOT announces Rockaway transportation study

By Gabriel Rom

The city Department of Transportation announced last week that the agency would carry out a multi-year study aimed at helping to improve transportation access in the Eastern Rockaways.
The study, titled “The Access to Opportunity: Transportation and Housing Study in the Eastern Rockaways,” will create proposals for short-term and long-term transportation improvements aligned with the city’s land-use investments in the Rockaway region. It will give particular emphasis to improving residents’ access to goods, activities, services and destinations through roadway, transit, walking and cycling improvements and accessible land-use recommendations.

“This collaborative study has real potential to reshape transportation in the Rockaways by making the peninsula more accessible for drivers, mass transit commuters and bikers. We all know how important intermodal connectivity is—especially for a community like Rockaway that was hard-hit by Superstorm Sandy—and that’s why we need to develop better-connected transportation options for Rockaway residents.” U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) said.

The study, a collaborative effort between DOT and the Department of Housing Preservation and Development, is funded through a $1.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation. “Our families in southern Queens and Rockaway have some of the longest commutes in the entire city,” said Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder (D-Howard Beach). “The NYC Department of Transportation Access to Opportunity study will help shed light on this problem that we have lived with for years, and hopefully lead to real changes to our transit network.”

Public involvement will be incorporated throughout the course of the study. Starting this fall, DOT will convene meetings with elected officials, local businesses, community groups and other agencies to gather input and discuss findings. DOT ambassadors will begin conducting on-street outreach in the eastern Rockaways this month.

“Hurricane Sandy devastated the peninsula,” said Councilman Donovan Richards (D-Laurelton), “but it also allowed the entire city to take notice of the lack of infrastructure that has plagued the area for far too long.”

An online feedback portal is open for public comment at https://www.nycdotfeedbackportals.nyc/eastern-rockaway-access-study.

Reach reporter Gabriel Rom by e-mail at grom@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4564.