Tag Archives: Cross Bay Veterans Memorial Bridge

Tolls reinstated on Rockaway bridges


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

Cross Bay Bridgew

Tolls on the Cross Bay Veterans Memorial Bridge, suspended since Sandy, went back into the effect on Saturday, December 1. Crossing once again costs $3.25 in the cash lane and $1.80 for E-ZPass users.

Since the bridge reopened a few days after the storm, fares going across the Cross Bay, along with the Marine Parkway-Gil Hodges Memorial Bridge going into Brooklyn, were waived to allow people on and off the peninsula for relief efforts. But as the Rockaways slowly bounce back to normalcy, the decision was made to reinstate the fare.

Governor Andrew Cuomo extended the halt on tolls on Cross Bay through all of November, according to MTA spokesperson Judie Glave. Despite outsiders coming into the Rockaways to help with recovery efforts, the transit authority is required to collect tolls from everyone going in.

“MTA Bridges and Tunnels has a bond covenant, which requires us to collect tolls from everyone who goes through,” said Glave.

Rockaway residents, however, do get a break thanks to a program that tracks E-ZPass tags for residents within the region’s six zip codes. The Rockaway Rebate program went into effect earlier this year, pushed for by Assemblymember Phillip Goldfeder. The program redeems tolls for these residents who are travelling in and out of mainland Queens, Glave said.

Goldfeder, who has sought several means to ease the intra-borough toll burden since coming into office last September, said he would communicate with MTA chair Joseph Lhota and Cuomo to see what steps can be taken going forward for inexpensive transportation across Jamaica Bay.

“I was responsible in working with the governor in working to eradicate the toll for the last month,” he said. “I will absolutely talk to Joe Lhota at the MTA and the governor to discuss possible options for further discounts and rebates.”

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST

Tuesday: Overcast with rain showers, then a chance of rain in the afternoon. High of 55. Breezy. Winds from the NNW at 10 to 20 mph with gusts to 30 mph. Chance of rain 80%. Tuesday night: Mostly cloudy in the evening, then clear. Low of 39. Winds from the West at 10 to 15 mph shifting to the North after midnight. Chance of rain 20%.

EVENT of the DAY: The Queens Travelling Market

Come out Tuesday night to Astoria to shop and support local artists , designers and vendors at this pop up market. Captain Morgan will be at the event and offering delicious complimentary drinks. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

MTA cops, workers stranded on bridge to Rockaways the night Hurricane Sandy struck, sources say

A dozen MTA cops and workers were stranded on a bridge to the Rockaways the night Hurricane Sandy struck, sources said. Read more: New York Daily News

Process of reopening sandy-damaged schools to stretch into 2013

In the basement of P.S. 207 Rockwood Park in the Howard Beach section of Queens, water reached the ceiling, drowning student records from the past several decades and curriculum materials meant for the next several years. It also took out the schools’ electrical and heating equipment. Read more: NY1

Gov. Cuomo asks utility companies to give rebates to Sandy-ravaged customers

Gov. Cuomo appealed to utility companies Monday to give rebates to storm-ravaged customers, warning that asking for a rate hike now would be adding “insult to injury.” Read more: New York Daily News

Non-profit provides free gasoline to storm-hit Far Rockaway residents

A line of cars stretched back several blocks in storm-ravaged Far Rockaway. There was also a second line closer in with people on foot. Read more: CBS New York

Monthly MetroCards will not be reimbursed after Sandy

Count your monthly MetroCard as a casualty of Hurricane Sandy

Straphangers will not be reimbursed for time lost during the superstorm — despite more than three days without subways and service that’s still limited in parts, officials said. Read more: New York Post 

Federal aid for New York faces hurdle in Congress

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s request for $30 billion in federal disaster aid for the State of New York in the wake of Hurricane Sandy faces significant hurdles in Congress, and it may take weeks, if not months, before action is taken on it, Congressional officials said on Monday. Read more: New York Times

Top U.S. commander in Afghanistan investigated, Petraeus scandal widens

The top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, General John Allen, is under investigation for alleged inappropriate communication with a woman at the center of the sex scandal involving former CIA Director David Petraeus, a senior U.S. defense official said on Tuesday. Read more: Reuters 

Congressmember Turner briefs Broad Channel


| editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy Congresmember Turner

Congressmember Bob Turner attended the Broad Channel Civic Association meeting on Thursday, January 26 to update residents on his first five months in office, and to assure them that he is addressing their local concerns.  Turner spoke before a packed room at the Shad Creek VFW in Broad Channel.

“The Broad Channel Civic Association has done an outstanding job highlighting the challenges facing the community and I am committed to working closely with them as their congressmember. All the areas I am honored to represent should know that their unique and local issues will be priorities of my office,” Turner said.

Specifically, he noted the successful effort to include a resident toll discount for the Cross Bay Veterans Memorial Bridge for Broad Channel in the governors’ proposed budget. Turner, who contacted Governor Andrew Cuomo and MTA Chairman Joe Lhota about the unfairness of the toll on Broad Channel residents stated, “I was proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with Assemblymember Phil Goldfeder and Broad Channnel on this issue, and am pleased that Governor Cuomo has recognized that local residents should not have to pay a toll to conduct basic daily activities.”

In addition, the congressmember mentioned his meeting with representatives of National Grid and emphasized the importance of bringing natural gas to Broad Channel, the only area of New York City still without access to natural gas.

Turner also gave an overview of his first five months in office, including his committee appointments, trips to Afghanistan and Israel, and focus on creating jobs and preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.

Turner praised the efforts of Broad Channel Civic Association and its president, Dan Mundy Jr., and his father, past president, Dan Mundy, Sr., for their hard work and dedication.

“The Mundys know the issues inside and out and have been enormously helpful to me and my office in addressing important Broad Channel and Rockaway issues.”

Cross Bay toll could be no more


| mchan@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy of Assemblymember Phillip Goldfeder

Rockaway residents may soon find their burdens lighter — at least while trekking across the Cross Bay Veterans Memorial Bridge.

Under Governor Andrew Cuomo’s budget proposal, a discount program could see Rockaway and Broad Channel residents reimbursed for their travels.

Rockaway motorists with an E-Z Pass currently pay $1.19 each time they drive along the Cross Bay Bridge for up to two trips a day. While additional crossings are free afterward, local elected officials and residents have long deemed the toll a problem.

The toll was free for residents of Broad Channel and the Rockaways for 12 years, but was reinstated by the MTA in 2010.

Now that fares could be relinquished once again for Rockaway and Broad Channel residents, local elected officials — who have championed against the toll for many years — revel in a victory won while they look ahead to ending the toll boroughwide.

“We have been advocating relentlessly to end the toll on the Cross Bay Bridge,” said Assemblymember Phillip Goldfeder, who has been a staunch advocate for a complete toll elimination. “From the many civic and community leaders who rallied, to the thousands of community members who signed our petition, we are one step closer to successfully eliminating this toll completely and lifting a significant financial burden off the shoulders of many hardworking families and businesses in Rockaway and Broad Channel.”

The assemblymember added that the toll negatively affects an already sluggish local economy and places an inherently excessive financial burden on the residents and small businesses of southern Queens and Rockaway.

According to Jonathan Gaska, district manager of Community Board 14, the proposal could stimulate more activity and revenue between Rockaway and Broad Channel businesses.

“It certainly will be positive. Broad Channel residents will more likely come in to Rockaway now,” Gaska said, adding that residents could save between $800 and $1,500 a year if the program passes.

But Gaska said businesses on the peninsula are not likely to see a “big boom.”

“Residents outside still have to pay,” he said. “The toll stifles economic growth within our community. It keeps tourists from coming into Rockaway, and all local businesses still have to pay for their trucks and vehicles going in and out of Rockaway. It’s been a significant problem for us.”

Still, Democratic Assembly District Leader Lew Simon said the discount is a giant step in the right direction.

“I was very much ecstatic. I was one of the happiest men on Earth when I heard,” said Simon, who for many years has rallied much opposition against the toll. “We’ve been fighting like hell to get rid of this toll to make sure the residents don’t pay it. I’m very excited with the governor’s decision, but I feel like all Queens residents should not be paying this unfair toll.”

The discount program is expected to go into immediate effect once the budget is signed nearing the end of March.

Gov’s budget may slash Cross Bay Bridge toll


| mchan@queenscourier.com

The burden of paying the Cross Bay Bridge toll may soon be relieved for residents of Rockaway and Broad Channel.

A proposed toll discount program — under Governor Andrew Cuomo’s budget proposal — calls on the state and MTA to reimburse residents for E-Z Pass fees, $1.19 each way, paid for while traveling over the Cross Bay Veterans Memorial Bridge.

Local elected officials and residents who pay the toll several times a day have long deemed the fare a problem, according to Assemblymember Phillip Goldfeder.

Goldfeder — who has been a staunch advocate for a complete toll elimination — said the toll negatively affects an already sluggish local economy and places an inherently excessive financial burden on the residents and small businesses of southern Queens and Rockaway.

“We have been advocating relentlessly to end the toll on the Cross Bay Bridge,” said Goldfeder. “From the many civic and community leaders who rallied, to the thousands of community members who signed our petition, we are one step closer to successfully eliminating this toll completely and lifting a significant financial burden off the shoulders of many hardworking families and businesses in Rockaway and Broad Channel.”