2001-02-24 / Columnists

Simon Says….

by Lew M. Simon, Democratic District Leader, 23rd A.D. Part B

by Lew M. Simon, Democratic District Leader, 23rd A.D. Part B

It saddens me to think about public transportation to Manhattan from our community. Just the other night I was coming home from the Chambers street stop on the ‘A’ train. I hopped on the first available train, which took me as far as Euclid avenue. I caught the next train to Rockaway boulevard where I had to stand and freeze until I got a train to Broad Channel where I waited for the shuttle to Rockaway Park.

In the middle of waiting, I had to go to the bathroom. At one stop the bathroom was locked and at the other conditions were deplorable. Homeless people were stretched out on the seats on one train. A man was panhandling, saying that he had to pay his rent. These conditions and the more than 90-minute run angered me. These are some of the reasons why I will continue to work on reopening the Rockaway Beach line.

A brief review of the MTA study shows that they misrepresented the proposal we support and then proceeded to show how ridiculous their proposal is. We have not proposed replacing the subway service from Far Rockaway, but supplementing it by LIRR service using the direct route to midtown Manhattan. They would deny LIRR service to Rockaway Park in a blatant attempt to split the united efforts of all Rockaway residents to get improve service.

We are consulting with the experts at the Committee for Better Transit who made the original proposal and the Rockaway civic leaders who organized Q-Rail. We expect that we will all reject this outrages report and get the MTA to start on reopening the Rockaway Beach line.

On Wednesday evening we had the pleasure of speaking with Transit District 23 Captain Brenden W. Keeney. He supervises the Transit Police in Rockaway, Broad Channel, Howard Beach and Ozone Park. We discussed the problem of panhandling and hanging out at the Beach 116 street subway station and the throwing of ballast rocks at the Beach 90, 98 and 105 street stations. Captain Keeney has made himself available to speak at community meetings.

Our next Atlantic City trip will be on Saturday, March 10. Call my office, Good Government Regular Democratic Club, 112-20 Beach Channel drive, for reservations.

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