2011-11-18 / Letters

How Did They Get There?

Dear Editor,

You have to wonder how Senator Charles Schumer and New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver traveled to attend “Goldfeder Sworn In As Newest Assemblyman” (November 11).

Did Schumer or Silver ride the subway? Does either have a MetroCard? Has anyone ever seen Schumer or Silver use a MetroCard for mass transit like millions of their constituents do on a daily basis?

Perhaps Schumer and Silver prefer their respective staff members driving them around town rather than soil themselves by using public transportation.

How can either Schumer or Silver reate to thousands of Assemblymember Phillip Goldfeders constituents who count on public transportation to get them to and from work, school, shopping and other tasks?

Most of our existing public transportation and roadways are already operating at or above capacity.

New ferry services not available to Rockaway resi dents could be implemented far more quickly than construction of new subways, commuter rails or highways. These can take years or even decades to complete due to environmental reviews, planning, design, engineering, real estate acquisition, permits, procurements, construction, budgeting, identifying and securing funding to cover all of the various project costs before reaching beneficial use.

What type of financial assistance will Schumer on the federal and Silver on the state level provide to Goldfeder for improvements to public transportation on the Rockaways?

Residents of the Rockaways have been looking for permanent new ferry services for decades. This could provide an alternative means in reducing travel time for trips to jobs in the financial district and midtown Manhattan.

At present, they will continue to make due with a long ride on the A train; Q53 bus to Woodside with a transfer to either the #7 subway or Long Island Rail Road; Q21 to Woodhaven with connections to the M or R subway; Q35 to Brooklyn College with a transfer to either the #2 or 5 subway; QM 16 or QM 17 express buses to midtown Manhattan or travel across the City Line to catch the Long Island Rail Road at Far Rockaway.

In many cases, the commute for Rockaway residents to the financial district or midtown Manhattan will remain longer than others traveling from Long Island, the Hudson Valley, Connecticut and New Jersey to similar destinations.

Everyone knows that Speaker Silver rules the Assembly with an iron hand. He controls whose bills come out of committee to a full vote, lulus for chairing committees, funding for member item pork barrel projects, staffing, mailings and district office budgets. Silver will also play a major role in the 2012 reapportionment which could impact the electoral boundaries of Goldfeder’s As-sembly District.

He could either make it easier or harder for Goldfeder to win a full two year term in 2012. Will Goldfeder “vote with the leadership” when asked by Silver in exchange for all of these “goodies” or be independent by siding with his constituents versus Silver?

Time will tell if Schumer and Silver will deliver more then votes to elect Goldfeder State Assemblymember.

LARRY PENNER

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