1999-09-18 / Editorial/Opinion

The Show Me Peninsula

We feel a special kinship to Rockaway Beach, Missouri. Not only do they share our name but they come from the "Show Me" state. We’ve been promised so much, been lied to so much, we’ve developed a reflexive "show me" mentality.

A rep from the Port Authority came to present "initial findings" from a feasibility study the PA agreed to do when Al Stabile said he wouldn’t oppose the AirTrain on the Van Wyck.

How "initial" were the findings? Well, the PA used the 1990 census from demographics---one indication they were doing this study on the cheap. Bad enough that they were using 1990 figures but their preliminary findings did not include the populations of Breezy Point and Broad Channel. No independent ferry operator will consider Rockaway as a viable business venture unless all the peninsula is considered---particularly one on the higher end of the income scale, like Breezy. When asked why Breezy wasn’t considered the PA rep joked "they wouldn’t let us past the gate." Since all they did was use 1990 census figures---easily obtainable from our Community Board and many other places----there was no reason to pass through the gates.

It’s probably true that the PA was prohibited from looking for possible ferry launch sites on co-op grounds----but there was no reason to exclude Breezy from the population figures. His joke about not getting past the gate wasn’t particularly funny since most of us are quite serious about getting ferry service here.

When asked when these findings be "final" the rep said it was "up to the powers that be." Who’s that? The Mayor? The Port Authority? The MTA? The Borough President? The City Council?

To us, it sounded like the classic kiss-off for Rockaway.

Al Stabile says there’ll be ferry service from Rockaway to Manhattan by the end of his term. Show us.

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