Avella, Boro Candidate, Supports Rockaway Line
On Monday, State Senator Tony Avella joined Rockaway residents at a press conference supporting the revitalization of the Long Island Rail Road Rockaway Line to provide the peninsula much needed transportation alternatives.
The Rockaway Line, which ran from the Whitepot Junction in Rego Park through the neighborhoods of Middle Village, Woodhaven, Ozone Park, and Howard Beach, crossed Jamaica Bay into Broad Channel and proceeded onto the Rockaway peninsula, with one line continuing east to rejoin the LIRR in Far Rockaway and the other continuing west to the Rockaway Park station. Due to a steady decrease in ridership numbers, the line was officially terminated in the early 1960s and not has not operated for more than 50 years.
"Much has changed in the last 50 years," said Avella. "The Rockaways has seen a tremendous influx of residents and tourists, adding a significant burden on the few transportation lines being currently offered. The peninsula provides thousands of people with direct access to the Rockaway beach, ocean front properties and the successful racino at the Aqueduct Racetrack, yet public transportation options remain very limited. This community has waited too long. Now is the time to consider all options to finally give the Rockaways the transportation it deserves."
Rockaway residents see a big potential by restoring what once was.
“Queens must expand the transit system to accommodate the massive increase in population and to address the major traffic delays and commuting times for millions of New Yorkers,” Philip McManus, a staunch advocate, said. “It has cost South Queens billions of dollars in lost productivity and potential growth over the last 63 years and thousands of people are being kept down and left out.”
Not only would the restoration improve Queens cross town transit and reduce travel time, it would also attract small business and job growths in areas that are impossible to reach by existing means of transportation, according to Avella.