Senator Addabbo tackles trestle troubles in Richmond Hill through multi-city agency collaboration

Richmond Hill
Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. and his Chief of Staff Raimondo Graziano examine the Babbage & Bessemer Street train trestle.
Photo courtesy the office of Senator Joseph P. Addabbo Jr.

A train trestle between Babbage Street and Bessemer Street in Richmond Hill is known to many in the neighborhood as a piece of Queens history and an unfortunate burden for residents.

Although the trestle stretches under a mile long, one elected official hearing the pleas for action from constituents is taking the initiative to fix quality-of-life concerns in the area.

Under the train trestle in Richmond Hill. Photo by Anthony Medina

To help alleviate the concerns of neighbors regarding ongoing issues regarding the trestle in Richmond Hill, Senator Joseph P. Addabbo Jr. launched a multi-agency effort to better address quality-of-life concerns from his constituents.

“When this area became a part of my district, I was determined to reverse the neglect and disrepair that had caused this trestle to fall by the wayside and become a blight on the community,” Addabbo said. “I want to thank the constituents who brought these issues to my attention and to the agencies who have been cooperating with me in an effort to create real and sustained change.”

With Addabbo’s district expanded, the senator conducted at least three walkthroughs of the site, both alone and with agency representatives, to document the illegal dumping, loitering, vagrancy, illegal parking under the bays and other ongoing issues.

Addabbo’s walkthrough on Wednesday, Aug. 23, gathered multiple members of the public and city officials including Nick Fasano of the MTA, President of the Richmond Hill Historical Society Helen Day, Community Affairs Officers from the 102nd Precinct Nicholas Salamone and Scott Adelman, Metropolitan Transit Authority Police Officer John Matarazzo and Community Board 9 District Manager James McClelland.

The residential area of Babbage Street in Richmond Hill. Photo by Anthony Medina

The MTA, as the agency responsible for the trestle, proposed overhead lighting be installed under the bays to address safety concerns. Addabbo’s office said the MTA is at work to secure funding and a timeline for the installation of fencing along the entirety of the trestle.

The idea for added fencing was supported by the NYPD, along with increasing patrols alongside the trestle corridor — working with the MTA police to handle enforcement underneath the trestle. Following the proposal for added fencing as the placement of flower boxes underneath the trestle to deter illegal parking.

The Department of Transportation (DOT) has also been in contact with Addabbo regarding multiple traffic requests for seed bumps, new traffic signals, stop signs, and other street signs, to discourage reckless drivers. The DOT performed a survey concerning the requests, according to Addabbo.

Addabbo committed to funding trestle security cameras with next year’s budget and is addressing neighbor concerns with city agencies.

In a joint letter sent to the DOT commissioner back in August, Addabbo also joined forces with Assemblymember Andrew Hevesi and Council Member Lynn Schulman to ask for better traffic safety measures for Richmond Hill.

Although focused on the residents near Park Lane South, concerns over traffic safety especially along the trestle were also raised.

Addabbo hopes the multi-agency collaborative effort could eliminate the quality of life issues and enhance residential safety overall.