Photo: Flickr/Genial 23A group in Queens wants the unused Rockaway Beach Line to be returned—but as a rail line, not a park.
Reactivate a rail line in a Queens transit desert
By Gene Falik and Rick Horan
Crain's New York Business | February 26, 2017 12:01 a.m.
Good transportation is the lifeblood of any city, and New York is certainly no exception. If people cannot get to employment and recreation opportunities safely and efficiently, we will work less and play less—harming our quality of life and society itself.
Yet some people are suggesting that a 3.5-
We could not disagree more.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is studying the benefit and cost of rebuilding the unused Rockaway Beach Line, which we call QueensRail, on the right-
Queens is already park-
Forgive our skepticism, but we can't help but think that advocacy for a bike and pedestrian project called QueensWay is not so much about a park as about blocking a needed rail connection.
If New York is going to remain a world-
Projects like QueensRail can be built relatively easily and inexpensively because the right-
Queens residents have the longest average commute times in the nation. It can take up to two hours to get from the southern half of the borough to Midtown, or even to central or northern Queens. QueensRail can reduce travel time on many routes by more than 30 minutes.
We are optimistic that the MTA study will confirm the positive impact this connection will have on Queens and on the city as a whole. Although we love parks, residents and elected officials have to choose between rebuilding this crucial rail link or copping out and losing the chance forever. Let's not blow it.
A version of this article appears in the February 27, 2017, print issue of Crain's New York Business.
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An Op Ed published in Crain’s New York Business on February 27, 2017 tells the story succinctly: