2013-12-20 / Columnists

Eye On Rockaway

RBL, Queensway Ignites Twitter Debate
By Miriam Rosenberg

There was an interesting debate on Twitter Tuesday afternoon between several of those who are who are pushing for either reactivating the old Rockaway Beach Rail Line or making the area into a park aka Queensway. Now this debate is way too long to go over word by word. But there was something that got my attention.

Peter W. Beadle is a litigation attorney and transit and civil rights advocate. Between him and Ronald Carroll, who was Tweeting on behalf of the Rockaway Beach Line, there was one exchange that proved very telling. The subject of MTA ridership in Rockaway came up.

Beadle: “[It’s] something more than fact that today as a group Rockaway’s ridership is the lowest in the whole system.”

Carroll (RBL): “The ridership is low, again, repeat after me, because It TAKES TOO Long!”

Beadle: “Repeat after me “PROVE It!” and if that is the problem than move.”

Carroll (RBL): “OK, so everyone throughout Queens without good transportation options should move to Forest Hills/Rego Park?”

Beadle: “Or any of dozens of neighborhoods with better transit. [There’s] lots of choices.”

So that is the answer for better transportation in Rockaway – move. Do we do it as a mass exodus or a few at a time? And who is going to pay for people to move, help them find new homes and all that comes with a move? Moving is not an option and a ridiculous solution.

Beadle: “Other areas have no service; spending money for people who have train service now is a low MTA priority.”

Except that as a peninsula Rockaway is cut off from the so-called mainland. Those living on the west end have limited train service. And the bus service on both ends is not anything to write home about. Rockaway has one train line, not counting the shuttle. Rego Park and Forest Hills have several. Why should Rockaway take a back seat?

Beadle: “Open [your] mind to integrating bikes to extend/support [the] transportation system.”

Carroll (RBL): “Open your mind to some type of rail/bus along the ROW! It is possible!”

Why can’t trains co-exist with bikes? Maybe have the RBL connect with other elevated lines in Queens as Carroll suggested in one of his Tweets?

Being fair, Beadle does have suggestions for improving transit. He supports Woodhaven SBS, ferries, and opening stations along the Atlantic Line. In return, Carroll said that shows support for reactivating the RBL up until Atlantic Avenue.

But nothing will come close to being settled until the two feasibility studies are completed. Then, if they don’t agree, there will be discord over which one is right or wrong.

I have already written that I support reviving the old Rockaway Beach Line. But, let’s not kill each other in the process.

Until then I have to agree with Carroll who Tweeted, “I still personally believe that both RAIL and Queensway can coexist along the ROW! But we need TRANSIT!”

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