Tucked away on the west side of the small town of Broad Channel in the middle of Jamiaca Bay is a narrow, dead end, street that goes by the name of West 12th Road. Those of us who live there know that the nice part about living in a small town is that when you are not quite sure what is going on, someone else always does!
[Peter J. Mahon West 12th Road, Broad Channel]
This week's events illustrated the glaring weakness of our current transit system. It is simply unacceptable that thieves were able to access the A-train tracks and steal valuable copper wiring, leaving thousands of families stranded during the morning rush on Wednesday. To add insult to injury, the shuttle service put in place to help commuters was a total disaster, blocking lanes, clogging up roadways and adding to the gridlock.
Families in southern Queens and Rockaway have some of the longest commutes in the entire city. Outages like this have devastating consequences for families and once again demonstrate our need for new investment in rail, bus and ferry systems. I've called on the MTA to immediately investigate this fiasco to ensure that it never happens again!
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Rebuilding Our Boardwalk
Beach season is here!!!
Last week we celebrated the opening of the first section of our new boardwalk and while I am pleased to see this progress, we need to continue to work together and ensure the next phases are built on-time, on-budget, and strong enough to protect us from future storms. I give tremendous credit to Senator Chuck Schumer for fighting to hold the city accountable and ensure all $480 million in federal aid set aside for Rockaway stays right here in the community.
Protecting Our Privacy
We all know how important it is for each of us to safeguard our families from identity theft and we should expect our state agencies to do the same. I was outraged to learn the DMV regularly sells our names, addresses and other personal information to the highest bidder for a significant profit. I have recently sponsored a bill that would prevent the flow of our information without our written consent. No one should have to sell away their privacy in order to get a drivers license in New York.
While so many of us have worked tirelessly to recover from Sandy and rebuild our homes, some properties have been abandoned and left in disrepair. These "zombie properties" blight our community, driving down property values and inviting dangerous criminal activity. That's why I'm pleased to announce a landmark new agreement by 11 major banks who have agreed to take steps to combat this zombie plague. Under the plan, banks will inspect properties within 60 days of being confirmed as abandoned, and every 30 days after that. They have also agreed to install locks, board up windows and ensure compliance with state building maintenance codes. These new best practices will help rid our neighborhoods of this problem and speed up our long-term recovery.