Big Tease Or Big News?
Since 1962 there has been talk about reviving the Rockaway Branch of the LIRR allowing for a quicker commute from Rockaway to Manhattan. Current Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder has been pushing this even before he took office. Although he’s faced opposition in other Queens’ neighborhoods he just may have found two important allies. Congressmen Greg Meeks and Hakeem Jeffries are expected to announce on Sunday their intention to seek funding for plans to reactivate the line. In advance of the Sunday news conference, Meeks told The Wave on Thursday that he would seek “emergency funding” and thinks the need is obvious for better transportation for Rockaway and all of Queens since the storm.
Although there have been many failed attempts to revive the line through the years a couple of developments suggest the reactivation is not that far-fetched. There is Goldfeder’s sustained support and a growing population in Queens that demands a greater north-south subway line. Furthermore, funds —-such as now available in this post-Sandy era—were never available to even study the reactivation. And there is now the successful racino at Aqueduct that would benefit from the line. These factors – and the support of two members of Congress – gives the line’s revival its best shot in 50 years.