2006-09-15 / Editorial/Opinion


DOT Should At Least Address Our Concerns

The city's Department of Transportation (DOT) has slapped Rockaway in the face for a second time. First, the agency marked up and knocked off a good chunk of our east-west road capacity and parking spaces. What they did was so goofy that they even had our local politicians scratching their heads and demanding some answers. There were dozens of letters to the editor of The Wave about the problem and even more telephone calls asking what could be done to put Shore Front Parkway and Beach Channel Drive, along with some ancillary streets back the way they were before the drunk with the paintbrush hit the peninsula. Locals dragooned city officials who happened to be on the peninsula for other meetings to visit Shore Front Parkway and take a look at the foolishness the city had wrought on Rockaway. The Queens DOT Commissioner took the tour; The local liaison with the Mayor's Community Assistance Unit took a look. The Parks Commissioner went through the area. While the voices of the community have been loud, however, there has been only silence from DOT officials. Therein lies the problem. You would think that the city would have called the local politicians who complained, Community Board 14, The Wave, somebody, to say that the agency would study the problem and get back to the community. We didn't get even that. There has been only silence from the agency and that reflects the arrogance on the part of many city officials that they are the "professionals" and that they therefore know what's best for the community and its residents. Parks officials often act that way. Officials in the Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs virtually cut the community off from its deliberations about a memorial for those who died on American Airlines Flight 587. The DOT has done it over and over again. Perhaps there should be a requirement that a city agency has to respond to citizen complaints within a set period of time. We deserve an answer to our very important questions.

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