Goldfeder asks DOT for rail money


| tcullen@queenscourier.com |

As part of his push for better transit in south Queens, Assemblymember Phillip Goldfeder has asked the state to grant federal money that otherwise won’t be used, in an effort to restore the Rockaway Beach LIRR line.

Goldfeder requested $29 million from the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) for a rail line that would streamline the commute from the southern corners of the borough to midtown.

“Increasing public transportation options and improving the infrastructure for southern Queens and Rockaway will prepare our neighborhoods for future growth,” Goldfeder said. “Restoration of the abandoned rail line as an efficient, environmentally friendly transportation alternative to the current subway lines would be welcome news to the residents of Queens, who currently suffer with long commutes, congested roadways and severely limited public transportation.”

This money, if allocated, would come from a nearly $500 million in federal funds that had been written into congressional projects between 2003 and 2006. But for several reasons — including budget errors or projects falling dormant — the money was collected and became available to states for transportation projects.

“Immediate investment in this important transportation project will create thousands of jobs, improve public transportation options for all Queens residents and give our economy the boost that we so desperately need,” Goldfeder said.

The deadline to apply for these projects was October 1; which projects get the money will be announced in December.

There have been several discussions on whether to revive the line, which has been abandoned since 1962, or to convert its dormant tracks into a nature walk.