RELIABLE TRANSIT NEEDED

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Dear Editor:

In the mid 1900s, southern Queens had a LIRR line called the Rockaway Beach Branch. It ran from 63rd Dr in Rego Park south to Liberty Ave in Ozone Park before crossing Jamaica Bay to Rockaway. Before 1950, the LIRR ran trains from Penn Station and Atlantic Terminal to the Rockaways via the Rockaway Beach Branch. In 1952 there was a fire on the trestle running over Jamaica Bay and the LIRR decided to end service. The LIRR decided to sell the rail to the City of New York so that it could rebuild the line for subway service. This rail has been fully abandoned since 1962.

Every time we look to the future, we will always see the need for more reliable and faster transit. The issue is we in Rockaway have never had reliable transit. We had to fight to even keep the ferry, which should have been common sense to keep going. Every time the subway or bus is running late, we are the ones who face the consequences, time is money. That is why the QueensLink is clearly needed for our “transportation desert.” The QueensLink will reroute the M train south along a new 3.5-mile extension south along the border of Rego Park and Forest Hills, then through Forest Park, Woodhaven, and Ozone Park before connecting to the existing A train to Rockaway Park. This would eliminate the current shuttle service and will double overall service to the Rockaways.

The QueensLink will not only create more reliable transit, it will create up to 33 acres of new parks that come with more bike lanes. This will create an economic boom for the areas around the QueensLink. The QueensLink will raise tourism, it will raise property value up to $75 Billion, and it will raise personal income up to $13 Billion. Reliable transportation is within reach, and we must fight every inch for what we deserve. To learn more visit QueensLink.org.

Jonathan Lazo

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