Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Goldfeder Demands Immediate Investigation into MTA Transit Nightmare

Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder

Assemblyman slams alarming security breach, theft of copper wiring that disabled A train between Howard Beach and Rockaway

Reports of massive delays for alternative transit options and buses blocking traffic along vital Woodhaven/Cross Bay corridor; tens of thousands affected during morning rush hour

Goldfeder: There must be accountability
Howard Beach, Queens - Amidst massive transit delays and gridlock due to disrupted A train service this morning between Howard Beach and Rockaway, Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder (D - Howard Beach) is calling on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to immediately investigate alarming security breaches that reportedly allowed thieves to remove copper track wiring and cut service to the line. Goldfeder also blasted the agency for catastrophic breakdowns in contingency transit plans, including reports of buses blocking vital roadways and leaving thousands stranded during their rush hour commute. 

"Families in southern Queens and Rockaway have some of the longest commute times in the entire city. On a normal day, our roads, trains and buses are stretched to capacity. Outages like this have devastating consequences for families simply trying to commute to work or school," said Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder. "I am alarmed by reported security breaches along the A train and the failure to put in place effective alternative travel plans for our families. I demand a full investigation by the MTA to ensure that this never happens again."

In a strongly-worded letter to MTA Chairman Thomas Prendergast and follow up phone call, Goldfeder called on the agency to conduct an immediate investigation into the circumstances surrounding the security breach that disrupted service for thousands of straphangers. According to the letter, the outage caused widespread delays for thousands of commuters in the community, with shuttle buses intended to aid commuters blocking multiple lanes along Woodhaven and Cross Bay Boulevards, adding to delays. The Assemblyman also wrote that the security breach poses serious questions about the security of the region's transit infrastructure, pointing out the Howard Beach station's proximity to John F. Kennedy Airport and the potential for terrorists to exploit this situation. 

At around 8 a.m. Wednesday morning, the MTA first reported service disruptions due to damaged power cables near the Howard Beach A Train station. Shortly thereafter, the agency confirmed in a news report posted to its website that the disruption was due to a security breach by thieves stealing valuable copper wiring used to supply power to the station. According to the MTA, this stranded train cars in the Rockaway Park yard, disrupting service to both the A and S trains servicing southern Queens and Rockaway.

As an alternative, limited shuttle service was implemented between 88th Street and Broad Channel, as well as limited northbound shuttle bus service between Broad Channel and Rockaway Boulevard in Queens. The MTA also directed commuters to existing bus service along Woodhaven and Cross Bay Boulevards. According to widespread reports, commuters faced 30-plus minute delays on the heavily-utilized Q53 bus between Woodside and Rockaway Park. Limited shuttle buses also reportedly blocked lanes of traffic at bus stations, extending travel times for motorists and causing bumper-to-bumper gridlock in the borough. In his letter to Prendergast, Goldfeder urged the agency to improve its contingency plans for the future. 

Assemblyman Goldfeder has long advocated for improved transit options for families in southern Queens and Rockaway. This includes improvements to current subway and bus systems, immediate ferry service and reactivating the Rockaway Beach Rail Line (RBRL), which until 1961 ran between Rockaway and Rego Park. According to a recent report by the MTA's Transportation Reinvention Commission, reactivating underutilized rail rights-of-way like the RBRL would help improve resiliency by increasing alternative train routes in the event of disruptions like this morning's incident. 

"Our transit infrastructure in southern Queens and Rockaway can barely handle normal service, let alone a disaster like we saw this morning. Simply put, our families deserve better," concluded Goldfeder. 

MTA Floods Broad Channel with Buses in response to "A" Train Power Outage.

The A line was seriously disrupted earlier today resulting in the MTA flooding Broad Channel with a multiple shuttle buses in order to accommodate displaced subway riders.buses 

According to the MTA...

“This morning’s service disruption was directly caused by the theft of cable from along the subway right of way. This led to delays and crowding along all 31 miles of theA Subway Line Icon train, and forced thousands of Rockaways customers to use shuttle buses to get to work,” said MTA New York City Transit President Carmen Bianco. “We are working closely with the NYPD Transit Bureau to help them investigate this crime and identify the culprits responsible.”

There were 12 MTA buses staged on the southbound side of Cross Bay Boulevard within the Gateway sanctuary.

Several Police Highway units were assigned to Cross Bay Boulevard at 20th Road.

There was a significant Police, Traffic and MTA presence on Cross Bay at Noel Road with Traffic Agents assigned to various intersections along Cross Bay Boulevard. 

At one point there were also 11 MTA buses staged along the east side of Cross Bay Boulevard.

Community Board #14 Transportation Comm. Mtng - re: Removal of Broad Channel Bus Stop

Message from Assemblyman Goldfeder

Hey all,

This just in- The New York City Economic Development Corporation (EDC) will be issuing an addition to the Rockaway ferry request for proposal (RFP) this afternoon asking respondents to include plans for shuttle bus service to be synchronized with ferry arrivals and departures. While shuttle bus service is planned to run east and west from the dock, specific route details are still to be determined.

And as always, this is great news but we will continue to push for the immediate return of the ferry service…

Phillip Goldfeder
Member of Assembly
23rd District

Broad Channel Civic Association Meeting


President’s Message

This month's Civic meeting will be held on Thursday, May 28th at 7 PM at the VFW Hall.

Select Bus Service for Crossbay and Woodhaven Boulevards has become a very hotly debated topic in neighborhoods along the route as well as for people who commute up the Crossbay/Woodhaven route. At the May Civic Meeting we will see a presentation by DOT on the impacts to Broad Channel that this proposal would create as well as an overview of how this plan would work and its goals. We reached out to Councilman Ulrich's office to help set up this presentation when we realized that the DOT was presenting to various neighborhoods and we were not listed for a formal presentation. We want to thank him for ensuring we will have an opportunity to comment on this proposal which could be the biggest change in the North/ South commute from Broad Channel in years. Some transportation advocates have commented that Broad Channel may lose bus stops with this proposal and our residents who commute via car along this route could see even worse delays then are currently experiencing, as lanes are set aside for "bus only" use. We urge anyone who could be affected to listen to the presentation and to add your voice to the discussion.

The Beautification Day of the center mall was a huge success and a big thanks to Judy Zackiewicz for once again leading this effort!!  Judy puts in a tremendous amount of work every year in preparation for this day, including building tree pits, purchasing flowers, gravel and mulch and on getting the word out to our residents.  We are lucky to have residents like her !! The mall looks great with so many of the tree pits cleaned up and now sporting new flowers as well as mulch and stone!  It really makes a difference when you drive through town, and I hear this from our Rockaway friends as well. I also want to thank the Vollies for once again watering all of the flowers and tree pits after the planting was completed. In addition, the Lisena Landscaping Company donated the flowers for the planting and they deserve a thank you as well.

Entering Broad Channel from Rockaway you will see a new Broad Channel sign that was recently unveiled. We are grateful toArverne by the Sea and Rockaway Beach Blvd. Construction Company for paying to have this sign created and for installing it. The sign really looks great and sets a nice tone for those who enter our town from Rockaway.

Speaking of the Lisena Landscaping Company -- they also donated all of the flowers as well as the time and effort to plant them around our new Broad Channel sign that has just been unveiled. They have also planted and cleaned up the mall area adjacent to their storefront location (next to the BCAC). This business is a great asset to the town, and if at all possible, please try to patronize them if you are buying flowers, trees or other yard amenities this Spring.

Build it Back updates will be presented at the Civic meeting by Rudy Giuliani from the office of Housing Recovery.  Rudy will give an update on the Zoning Text Change that the Civic has been very involved in and which is expected to be approved in the first week of June.  This zoning change will resolve the issue that so many of our residents who are trying to elevate have encountered, in which portions of their home are in "non-compliance" with old zoning maps. This has resulted in an inability to get building permits approved and it is anticipated that this zoning change will resolve these problems. In addition a resolution to the DOT issue (regarding the alteration mapped street problem) will be discussed for those who have run into this delay.  Rudy will also be able to answer any other Build it Back questions that residents may have.

If you had applied for Build it Back but were told that an SBA loan that you were approved for, but which you DECLINED, is being counted as a benefit, you should come to the Broad Channel Civic Meeting on May 28th and speak to Rudy from the Build it Back Program. They are looking to work with residents who were in that situation in order to have that SBA loan NOT counted towards your benefits as long as you did not take the loan.

I want to Thank Phil Goldfeder’s office for their time and effort in assisting our Civic efforts to get a Post Office back in town. The amount of red tape and bureaucratic bungling at the USPS on this issue is mind boggling and was the inspiration for this month's "quote of the month".  I am confident that we will be ultimately successful and once again will have a post office in town.

Respectfully submitted, 
Dan Mundy Jr.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Broad Channel resident celebrates Memorial Day working on the "Baylander"

Erin Nolan and Victoria Mahon provide visitors to Baylander with a tour and history of the ship. 

While the rest of us will be on Cross Bay Boulevard enjoying our town's Memorial Day Parade Victoria Mahon of West 12th Road Broad Channel and her friend, Erin Nolan, will be busy working as weekend tour guides aboard the 
Baylander IX14 which is currently berthed at the Pier 5 Promenade 
in Brooklyn Bridge Park. 

The "Baylander IX14", pictured above, is a Vietnam era (circa 1968) coastal supply vessel later used to train helicopter pilots on marine landings is currently docked at Pier 5 in the Brooklyn Bridge Park Marina and is open to the public on weekends.

For more information about "Baylander IX14" and other events at Brooklyn Bridge Park, click here.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

The next 100th Pct. Community Council Meeting

The Next 100th Precinct Community
Council Meeting

Danny Ruscillo President

Wednesday May 27th 2015
Time - 7:30 PM

Location – Knights of Columbus Hall
333 Beach 90th Street
Parking Available On Site

*Guest Speaker*
Jewish Association Serving The Aging

***Cop Of The Month Awards***
Will Be Presented To

The 100th Precinct
Transit District 23

**PLEASE** Bring In Any Nonperishable Food Items
So Our Council Can Help Those In Need

Come Ask Questions Get Involved It’s Your Community

Friday, May 22, 2015

Weekly Construction Schedule (Tuesday May 26th - Friday, May 29th)

Ferry Rally - June 10th

W12th Road Construction Project Update

Bulkhead Construction on West 12th Road (Friday May 22, 2015)

As work continues towards completion of the end of street bulkhead and outfall on West 12th Road, our CCL (Community Construction Liaison), Fern Weinreich, hosted a meeting for all West 12th Road residents on Wednesday evening, May 20th, at 7 pm in the contractor's field office located at 59 West 12th Road. 

The purpose of the meeting was to provide a general overview of what W12th Road residents can expect as bulkhead work is completed and work begins on our street.  What follows below is a general summary of the issues discussed.


The warm summer weather is almost upon us and all residents should be mindful of the presence of children playing in the street with construction traffic entering and leaving West 12th Road.  

All oversized construction related vehicles are accompanied by another worker who walks in back of the vehicle to ensure safe passage down the block, nevertheless, all parents and other adults on W12th Road should keep a watchful eye on any and all children playing in the street to make sure they remain safe at all times.

Additionally, all contractor staff have been advised to operate their smaller commercial and other vehicles (vans, pick-ups, etc.) in a safe and slow manner while on West 12th Road. 

If any resident observes any contractor related commercial or personal vehicle being operated in an unsafe manner while on West 12th Road, attempt to obtain the license plate number of that vehicle and notify the CCL at 516-361-8822.


In order to ensure the accuracy and timeliness of  all project information provided, any West 12th Road resident seeking specific information regarding this ongoing street project are advised to directly contact Fran Weinreich, our CCL and the project's Resident Engineer, Tom Bender.


Parking Restriction signs on the south side of W12th Road 
have been covered and will remain  
covered through the Memorial Day Holiday

A.  Until Work Actually Starts on the Street....

  The contractor has agreed to cover the "No Standing 7am - 6 pm Mon thru Fri" Temporary DOT Construction Parking Regulation signs  (above) on W12th Road to allow for resident parking on the south side of W12th Road for major holidays (Memorial Day, July 4th, Labor Day).

The contractor will not be covering such parking signs after work is completed on a daily basis, Monday - Friday and, for all intents and purposes, the parking restriction will remain in effect until 6 pm.

All contractor staff have been advised not to park any of their vehicles on the north side of W12th Road which is for resident parking.

B.  Once Work Actually Starts on the Street....

The best way to prepare for this issue is for all residents to assume that once actual work starts on West 12th Road, the contractor will essentially "own" the entire street and all "local traffic" and resident parking will be suspended for the duration of street work.

W12th Road residents will then utilize the project's "displaced parking" spaces directly adjacent to and on both side of the cross bay boulevard median.

During street work there will be an emergency travel lane maintained for emergency vehicles (fire, ambulance, police, etc) and accommodations will be made for bulk deliveries (home heating fuel, propane, etc) 


Our CCL, Fern Weinreich, stated that both she and the contractor are aware of those "special need" residents of W12th Road who may require special attention (infirmity, disability, etc.) and will work with those individuals to accommodate them to the fullest extent possible.


During this time, the contractor will arrange to pick up and transport all residential garbage to Cross Bay Boulevard for pick up by NYC Sanitation.


W12th Road residents whose property will be markedly impacted by this project will be scheduled for individual meetings with the CCL, Resident Engineer and Contractor starting in early June.


*Completion of Bulkhead and outfall work at bay end of block...

* Test borings along the length of W12th Road...

*  Installation of mini-piles on W12th Road to support new storm and sanitary sewers.  
 (It is possible that a temporary sewer line will have to be installed during this

NOTE:  Street work will start at the Cross Bay Boulevard (top) end of the block  and will continue down the block to the bay end in 200 foot increments.


We are fast approaching the start of street work on our block which will be "noisy, dirty and long."  

The key to surviving this disruption of our lives here on W12th Road is patience,
 cooperation and communication. 

If I can be of any assistance to you, please feel free to contact me by stopping by 55 West 12th Rd, or calling me at 718-945-0805.