Tag Archives: Rockaway Boulevard

Ozone Park A train stations to be fully repaired by the end of September


| slicata@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Salvatore Licata

The A train will soon pull into newly renovated subway stops in Ozone Park.

The 88th Street and 104th Street stations, on the Queens-bound side, are expected to reopen at the end of September, after about five months of repair work, according to an MTA spokeswoman. The repairs and replacements being made at the stops, which were started in May, are part of a $39 million capital project for five designated stations along the A line on Liberty Avenue in Ozone Park.

The scope of work being done at the stops includes repairs or replacements of mezzanine-to-platform stairs; mezzanine floors, doors and windows; and interior and exterior walls, the spokeswomen added.

Furthermore, each station will be painted, canopied, have better lighting in the mezzanine areas and have its railings replaced. The MTA has also worked to add new artwork to each of the stations with the help of the MTA Arts for Transit. The artwork will be displayed on the platforms’ windscreen walls.

The capital project called for station renewals of these two stations along with 80th St.-Hudson St., Rockaway Boulevard and 111th St.-Greenwood Avenue.

The MTA did not immediately give a timetable for the completion of the other three train stations.

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Motorcyclist killed after van strikes group of people in Rosedale


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

POLICE TAPE

A motorcyclist was killed and several people were injured when a van struck a group of people as they were loading the man’s bike into a pickup truck in Rosedale Friday night, police said.

The 24 year-old victim was riding along Rockaway Boulevard near Brookville Boulevard that evening when his motorcycle became disabled. A pickup truck and several people met the motorcyclist to help him out at about 8:20 p.m., and, as they were loading the bike into the parked vehicle, a Chevy van hit the rear of the pickup truck and them, cops said.

Another vehicle driving behind the van then struck the rear of the van.

The motorcyclist, who has yet to be identified by police, was pronounced dead at the scene, according to authorities.

Four of the other people standing on the road and the van’s driver were taken to Jamaica Hospital in stable condition.

The investigation is ongoing.

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Van fatally strikes bicyclist in Ozone Park hit-and-run


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Graphic Image

A bicyclist was killed in a hit-and-run crash Sunday night after a van knocked him to the ground, then ran him over as he was riding on Rockaway Boulevard, police said.

The victim, a man in his 40s who has yet to be identified by police, was traveling along the roadway near 90th Street in Ozone Park about 9:35 p.m. when the accident occurred, officials said.

The van, a black Mercedes Benz, was driving in the same direction on Rockaway Boulevard as the victim when it sideswiped him, and the bicyclist fell and was run over.

After the van’s driver briefly stopped and got out of his vehicle, he allegedly returned to the van, and fled westbound on Rockaway Boulevard.

The victim was taken to Jamaica Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead, according to police.

There are no arrests and the investigation is still ongoing.

 

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Queens-bound service to temporarily shut down at two Ozone Park subway stops for station improvements


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

A $39 million project to revamp five Queens stations along the A line will shut down service at two Ozone Park stops for three months, the MTA said.

The project will renovate the 80 St-Hudson Street, 88 St-Boyd Avenue, Rockaway Boulevard, 104 St-Oxford Avenue and 111 St-Greenwood Avenue stations.

Improvements at all five stations will include new lighting and artwork, better platforms, enhanced safety features, and upgraded communications, according to the MTA. There will also be the repair or replacement of the mezzanine leading the platform stairs, mezzanine floors, doors and windows, and interior and exterior walls. Additionally, each station will be painted, and canopies, windscreen panels and railings will be replaced.

During the work, the Queens-bound platforms at the 88th St-Boyd Avenue and 104 St-Oxford Avenue stations will be closed from May 12 to August 18. There will still be normal A service toward Manhattan.

Queens-bound customers traveling to 88th St-Boyd Avenue must ride to the Rockaway Blvd Station and transfer to a Manhattan-bound A train.  Customers wishing to ride towards Ozone Park Lefferts Boulevard or the Rockaways from 88 St-Boyd Avenue must ride a Manhattan-bound A train to 80 St-Hudson Street and transfer to a Queens-bound A train.  Normal service will be provided travelling towards Manhattan.

Queens-bound riders traveling to 104 St-Oxford Avenue must ride to the 111 St-Greenwood Avenue Station and transfer to a Manhattan-bound A train.  Riders wishing to travel towards Ozone Park-Lefferts Boulevard from 104 St-Oxford Avenue must ride a Manhattan-bound A train to Rockaway Boulevard and transfer to an Ozone Park-Lefferts Boulevard-bound A train.

Work will move over to the Manhattan-bound platforms at these 88th St-Boyd Avenue and 104 St-Oxford Avenue stations after this first phase of the project is completed is tentatively scheduled to begin in September.

Click here for up-to-date information on planned service changes.

 

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DOT to implement Slow Zones on Northern and Queens boulevards


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/ Photo by Angy Altamirano

The city’s Vision Zero traffic safety plan will be implemented at two highly trafficked Queens thoroughfares where collisions have claimed more than 20 lives in the last six years, officials said.

The Department of Transportation (DOT) announced Thursday that Northern and Queens boulevards would become part of 25 planned Arterial Slow Zones implemented throughout the five boroughs.

“I am pleased to bring the Arterial Slow Zone program to Northern Boulevard where long crosswalks and high speeds have been an unnecessary reality for too many Queens residents,” DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg said.

The first phase of a Slow Zone for Northern Boulevard will run 4.2 miles long from 40th Road to 114th Street. Starting later this month, the speed limit will be lowered to 25 mph and traffic signals will be retimed.

Since 2008, there have been five fatalities on Northern Boulevard, according to the DOT. One of the recent accidents involved 8-year-old Noshat Nahian, who was fatally struck by a truck on his way to school on Northern Boulevard and 61st Street.

Last month the DOT announced it would install two pedestrian safety islands at the intersection, and remove the westbound left turn bay and signal on Northern Boulevard to eliminate possible vehicle and pedestrian collisions.

“Bringing an arterial slow zone to Northern Boulevard is a huge victory for our entire community,” Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras said.

In July, the DOT will implement a Slow Zone on Queens Boulevard, which has seen 23 deaths in the past six years. The Slow Zone will stretch 7.4 miles from Jackson Avenue to Hillside Avenue.

“I am thrilled to be here on Northern Boulevard with Commissioner Trottenberg announcing safety improvements, rather than with a grieving family begging the city to take actions,” state Sen. Michael Gianaris said. “Too many lives have been lost on Northern and Queens Boulevard, and many other dangerous roads throughout our city.”

The city agency also announced Slow Zones would go up on Jamaica Avenue later this month, and Rockaway Boulevard in August.

For more information on the Slow Zones, visit www.nyc.gov/dot or www.nyc.gov/visionzero.

 

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ATM owner’s van robbed for $45K in South Ozone Park


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

A person in South Ozone Park made off with $45,000 after snatching it from a minivan, police said.

The owner of several ATM machines throughout the city stopped at a Rockaway Boulevard bodega on Friday to replenish the machine inside and left a bag of cash on his front seat.

A witness then saw somebody smash the front window and make off with the loot, according to a police source.

The man typically leaves his stash in a safe inside his van, but this time left the cash loose, said the source.

The ATM owner operates by himself and was making rounds refilling various machines. The investigation is ongoing.

 

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Queens pol calls it quits on homeless experiment, but plans to try again


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of the New York Daily News

Councilmember Ruben Wills took a dive into the lives of our city’s homeless to highlight hardships for those living in poverty, but called it quits after being diagnosed with pneumonia.

The councilmember began his journey to get a better look into the lives and struggles of the city’s population on the streets on Dec. 17.

“I knew for a fact going into it I would never understand the homeless situation, but I wanted to begin to develop an area of which I can begin to legislate,” Wills said.

His experiment contained various parts, he said, including sleeping on the streets, making enough money to eat and travel and gaining access to health care.

“The homeless situation goes beyond the primary factors that everyone understands. It goes beyond somebody losing their job,” he said.

The councilmember started at the Q6 bus shelter on Rockaway Boulevard and Baisley Boulevard, dressed in jeans, a sweater, a camouflage jacket, scarf and hat. He slept there before heading to a nearby Gulf gas station to “pump gas for change” for transportation costs.

Throughout his experiment, he continued to pump gas and also held open doors for spare change. He said he “didn’t beg” and discovered his fellow homeless “don’t want to sit there and beg for money, they would rather be equipped to work.”

However, his first night out, Wills went to the hospital and was diagnosed with pneumonia. After receiving antibiotics, he spent the night at the Staten Island Ferry terminal and continued his project the next day, but ultimately cut it short the night of Dec. 18.

“The experiment wasn’t for me to go out and die, it was for me to get a glimpse into the conditions they have,” he said.

After getting a doctors clearance, Wills plans to hit the streets once again and navigate the city’s homeless shelter system. He added other councilmembers want to join him, but did not say who.

In the new year, Wills hopes to call “immediate hearings” regarding policy for the homeless and hold open-panel discussions featuring those who “have gone through the homeless experience and survived.”

“To understand it after two days is impossible,” he said. “But at least I can have a glimpse of where we need to go for change.”

 

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Pedestrian struck and killed in Springfield Gardens


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Updated Monday, December 2 12:08 p.m.

A man is dead after he was hit by a car on Rockaway Boulevard Tuesday morning.

The victim was crossing the roadway at Farmers Boulevard around 6:15 a.m. when a Subaru Impreza traveling eastbound on Rockaway Boulevard struck the man, said police.

He was taken to Jamaica Hospital where he was deceased.

The driver remained on the scene of the accident and the investigation is ongoing, said cops.

The victim, 24-year-old Erik Johnson, was on his way to work when he was struck, according to Alicia Tucker, godmother to one of his two daughters, ages three and one.

A candlelight vigil will be held for Johnson Tuesday night at 5 p.m. at Farmers Boulevard and Rockaway Boulevard, where the accident took place, said Tucker.

There is also a fundraiser for the memorial and funeral services for Johnson. Donations can be made online at http://www.youcaring.com/memorial-fundraiser/flying-angel/111896#sthash.r4ctuwA5.dpuf.

 

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Resorts World Casino welcomes new and free Red Express buses


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

PHOTOS COURTESY OF RESORTS WORLD

Resorts World Casino welcomed a new bus fleet, the Red Express, which will take patrons from Manhattan to the South Ozone Park gambling spot.

Casino president Edward Farrell, Community Board 10 chair Betty Bratton and State Senator Joseph Addabbo greeted the Red Express buses as they pulled into Resorts World, coming in from their first trip down from Manhattan’s Lincoln Center.

The luxury buses will run every 30 to 45 minutes from 10 a.m. to midnight Monday through Sunday. They are free of charge and can hold up to 40 passengers.

The West Side route begins at 96th Street and Columbus Avenue, and goes straight down to Central Park and Madison Avenue. The East Side route begins at 96th Street and Lexington Avenue, and goes straight down to Madison Avenue and Central Park South.

Additionally, the Midtown route starts at 42nd Street and Lexington Avenue and runs through 6th Avenue and 50th Street.

All routes end, of course, at Resorts World Casino on Rockaway Boulevard.

 

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Lew Simon wins 32nd Council District primary, prepares for general election against Ulrich


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

PHOTO COURTESY OF LEW SIMON CAMPAIGN

Lew Simon, Democratic District leader, is officially the party’s candidate to race to claim the seat in City Council District 32. He will face incumbent Councilmember Eric Ulrich in the November general election.

Simon declared victory after receiving 65.1 percent of the votes over his opponent, William Ruiz, according to unofficial results.

“We have to make it to November,” Simon said election night, September 10. “We’ll be back out there early in the morning.”

The race is reflective of the 2009 City Council special election in which the Rockaway civic leader and Ulrich originally faced off for this very seat.

“Lew will be a very formidable opponent,” Ulrich said. “I look forward to having a very in depth and robust debate about the future of our community.”

If elected, Simon said first and foremost his priority is to rebuild after Sandy devastated the district, which comprises of the majority of the Rockaway Peninsula as well as South Richmond Hill, Howard Beach, South Ozone Park and Woodhaven.

“Everybody has let us down. We keep hearing FEMA money is coming, build-it-back money is coming,” he said. “Everyone is frustrated and I want to cut through the red tape.”

He also hopes to address the hospital and medical crisis as well as keep the Rockaway Ferry line subsidized and potentially include a pick-up point in Howard Beach.

Simon additionally said transportation is a rampant issue throughout the district, including Woodhaven and Cross Bay Boulevards. To alleviate the “abysmal” traffic, Simon said he wants to create an HOV carpool lane to be used during peak hours.

Ulrich too has a “very ambitious and bold plan” to relieve traffic congestion on Woodhaven and Cross Bay Boulevards in order to “put public transportation back on the fast track,” among his hopes in another term.

District 32 has been led by Ulrich for the past four years, and he said he is looking forward to building on his standing record of accomplishments.

“I feel very optimistic and I’m very proud of everything that I’ve done for my constituents, and I want to continue to work for them in the City Council,” he said.

Regarding his opponent, Simon said he’s “very energetic, very excited” to head to November’s election.

“After this big win, I think it should send a clear message that I’m a serious candidate to challenge the incumbent,” he said. “Some people laughed it off, but I think my numbers speak for themselves.”

Man dies in Rockaway Boulevard hit and run


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

A 65-year-old Queens man died early Friday when a car struck him on Rockaway Boulevard and fled the scene, said police.

Carlos Carlo was crossing the intersection of Rockaway Boulevard and 137th around 12:30 a.m. when a dark colored sedan traveling northbound on Rockaway Boulevard hit him.

Carlo was taken to Jamaica Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

The investigation is ongoing.

 

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Heat Advisory To Remain In Effect For Thursday

As a heat advisory remains in effect for Thursday, Con Edison is urging customers to conserve energy. The utility reduced voltage in dozens of neighborhoods in Queens and Brooklyn as a precaution to protect equipment and maintain service while crews fix electrical problems. Read more: [NY1]

Campaign 2012 Notebook: Queens Congressional candidates jockey for votes as primary nears

With the June 26 primary just days away, the four Democrats hoping to become the nominee for Queens’ Sixth Congressional District are busy trying to get people to the polls. While rain is generally the biggest detriment to voter turnout, the unusual late June primary poses a different question: Will potential voters want to spend any part of a sunny June day at the polls? Read more: [New York Daily News]  

20-year-old man plunges to his death from elevated subway platform in Queens

An inebriated 20-year-old man jumped to his death from an elevated subway platform in Queens Wednesday night, fire and police sources said. The young man bolted from a stalled A train at the Beach 90th St. station in Rockaway Beach around 8 p.m., the sources said. The conductor saw the victim — who may have been trying to hop to a nearby rooftop and scale a fence when he suddenly dropped, the sources added. Read more: [New York Daily News]  

Police searching for missing 5-year-old Queens boy: report

Police are looking for a 5-year-old boy in Queens this morning, ABC 7 reported. According to the report, the boy — who answers by the name of Zachary — walked out of his home on Rockaway Boulevard and 118th Street in South Ozone Park at about 1:30 a.m. Read more: [New York Post]  

Arvind Mahankali, Daily News finalist in National Spelling Bee, awarded City Council Citation  

Twelve-year-old Arvind Mahankali, of Bayside Hills, was awarded a New York City Council Citation for advancing to the finals in the Scripps National Spelling Bee. The seventh-grader, who placed third in his third appearance at the event, received the citation from City Councilmen Mark Weprin (D-Oakland Gardens) and Daniel Halloran (R-Whitestone) during a ceremony held Monday, June 18, at Nathaniel Hawthorne Middle School 74. Read more: [New York Daily News]  

Resorts Casino Raking In Slot Machine Revenue

The Resorts World Casino says it is raking in more money from slot machines than any other gambling hub in the country. Watch video: [NY1]

South Ozone Park speed bump should slow down speeding


| mchan@queenscourier.com

Some South Ozone Park residents are welcoming a bump in the road with open arms.

Community Board 10 recently voted unanimously in favor of installing a hump on 134th Street from Rockaway Boulevard to Sutter Avenue to curb the street’s speeding issue.

According to resident Claire Austin, 134th Street first became a danger zone close to 10 years ago when a Dunkin Donuts opened on the corner, bringing more traffic to the street.

“It’s something we’ve been trying to do for a while,” she said. “It was a long battle.”

Austin said she would watch from her 134th Street home as cars would quickly turn the corner and dangerously speed away.

“Cars were moving way too fast down a narrow, two-way street,” she said.

Now, she hopes the bump will finally put the brakes on lead-footed drivers.

“This will slow the cars down,” Austin said. “There are kids on the block. It’s not a retired community. There are a lot of young families with kids that we’re worried about.”

According to the Department of Transportation (DOT), the street has seen its fair share of injuries.

From 2006 to 2010, a DOT spokesperson said, 10 motor vehicle occupants were injured at 134th Street and Sutter Avenue, while one pedestrian, one bicyclist and 15 motor vehicle occupants were injured at 134th Street and Rockaway Boulevard.

According to Betty Braton, chair of Community Board 10, the speed bump will be installed in a few months.

Easier parking may mean better biz on Rockaway Boulevard


| mchan@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Melissa Chan

The city’s lift of parking restrictions may drive business back to stores along Rockaway Boulevard.

According to Senator Joseph Addabbo, the Department of Transportation (DOT) removed “No Standing” restrictions along the busy commercial corridor in Ozone Park. The formerly designated curbside travel lane — from along the northern side of Rockaway Boulevard between Cross Bay Boulevard and Liberty Avenue — once limited customers from parking between 4 to 7 p.m.

Now, patrons can park at the meters for one-hour between 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. with more ease.

“Anytime we can help local businesses in the area, it’s a step in the right direction,” Addabbo said. “It’s been a tough time for small businesses with the economy. We cannot create non-parking areas and make it difficult for customers to shop at these stores. This little change will help.”

Wayne Zanatta, owner of Midway Cabinets, said he’s happy to see the “useless restriction” go.

“That hurt everybody’s business. It only created revenue for the city,” Zanatta said. “The removal of the ‘No Standing’ sign makes life easier for our customers, and that’s what we want.”

Zanatta said the restriction was “heavily enforced” by city agents during a busy time for his store. He said he has even tried warning customers to save them from being slapped with a $115 parking ticket.

“At five minutes to 4 o’clock, I would check to see that every customer saw and knew about the sign,” he said.

Now, the next step, Addabbo said, is to continue working with the DOT to push for re-examinations of the Liberty Avenue area.

Modifications last year converted the commercial strip to a one-way eastbound street between 93rd Street and Cross Bay Boulevard — forcing cars to circle around if they want to visit the stores on the block. A concrete barrier was also placed along Cross Bay to prevent Liberty Avenue traffic from crossing through the intersection, which businesses said also caused revenue to suffer.

“Parking conditions are always an issue, and it’s always a good thing when the DOT responds to community request for changes,” said Betty Braton, chair of Community Board 10. “We’re glad that they’ve done them, and hopefully this will improve the situation. We’re hopeful that there will be some changes that will be made to the benefit of businesses on the Liberty Avenue lot.”