Tag Archives: trains

Community leaders trash railroad garbage expansion plan


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

Residents and community leaders are trashing a company’s plan to increase garbage export from Long Island through their neighborhoods.

One World Recycling, which processes garbage in Lindenhurst, Long Island that is hauled by New York and Atlantic Railway through tracks in Middle Village, Ridgewood and Glendale, has applied to the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to nearly triple its output from 370 tons of garbage per day to 1,100 tons.

“We’re going to have garbage all day and all night, that’s how we see it,” said Mary Parisen, chair of Civics United for Railroad Environmental Solutions (CURES). “We’re not happy about it.”

After One World applied, the community of Lindenhurst rejected the idea during a public hearing period that ended on August 16. But following procedure, the DEC has until 90 days after that date to review the application and make a decision.

With just about a month remaining until the deadline, community leaders in Queens are worried the DEC will make the wrong choice and plan to meet with agency officials to work towards a solution.

“The potential expansion of the One World Recycling Center in Lindenhurst raises numerous concerns,” said Assemblymember Andrew Hevesi. “I have signed onto a letter with my colleagues to the Department of Environmental Conservation urging them to deny this expansion, and I am having conversations with the DEC about this specific proposal.”

The trains wake up residents when they move through the night and some sit on tracks for hours with uncovered cars, which cause the stench of garbage to flow through the community, say locals.

The trains, which are owned by the state and licensed to New York and Atlantic, are outdated and discharge pollutants, according to area leaders. Earlier this year Hevesi, along with various elected officials, was able to get the state government to allocate nearly $3 million to retrofit a new engine for one of 11 locomotives, which will reduce the impact of gases in the community.

But the problem of garbage traveling through these communities has annoyed residents for years. It stems from the state increasing rail usage to cut down on truck transportation of garbage to relieve vehicle traffic and emissions.

“Everyone wants to get the trucks off the road, but it’s taking a problem from one area, mitigating it, and putting it in another area,” said Glendale resident Thomas Murawski. “You’re maybe solving part of the problem, but you’re not solving the whole problem.”

While they don’t want the One World expansion, CURES also wants the train cars covered to prevent the smell and hopes the state upgrades all the trains to new engines to cut down on pollutants.

“It’s not a matter of them being our enemies,” Parisen said. “If rail is the way of the future we want them to be responsible.”

Numerous emails and calls were made to One World Recycling but a company representative failed to reply.

 

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Queens Morning Roundup


| brennison@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST

Friday: A chance of light rain after noon. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 48. Chance of precipitation is 40%. Friday night: Rain likely, mainly after 9pm. Patchy fog after midnight. Otherwise, cloudy, with a low around 45. Chance of precipitation is 70%.

EVENT of the DAY: Free First Fridays

The Noguchi Museum is pleased to announce the continuation of our First Friday Film Series through the winter months. Visitors can enjoy extended evening hours from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. with free admission, cash bar and special programming.  Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Relatives and friends remember subway-push victim at Queens funeral

Relatives and friends are saying a final good-bye to a New York City man who was shoved onto subway tracks as a train rolled into a station. A handful of mourners gathered Thursday for the funeral service for 58-year-old Ki-Suck Han at the Edward D. Jamie Funeral Chapel in Flushing, Queens. Read more: NY Post

George Zimmerman sues NBC, claiming the station edited his 911 phone call to make him sound racist

George Zimmerman sued NBC on Thursday, claiming he was defamed when the network edited his 911 call to police after the shooting of Trayvon Martin to make it sound like he was racist. The former neighborhood watch volunteer filed the lawsuit seeking an undisclosed amount of money in Seminole County, outside Orlando. Read more: Daily News

Accused subway ‘killer’: I blame victim

Accused killer Naeem Davis, with a chilling, dead-eye stare yesterday, was hit with murder charges for tossing a Queens dad into the path of a subway train in Midtown, authorities said. Davis, 30, allegedly confessed to the grisly crime — but coldly blamed his victim, Ki Suk Han, 58. Read more: NY Post

Two armed thugs tie up, rob Queens Realtor of $75,000 in cash

Two bandits burst into a Queens real-estate office Thursday and tied up the owner before swiping $75,000 in cash from a desk drawer, police sources said. The 59-year-old owner of Pistilli Realty on 30th Ave. in Astoria was in his third-floor office when he heard a commotion about 8:30 a.m., the sources said. Read more: Daily News

Point Breeze Fire Department receives outpour of support after heroic rescue during Sandy

The Point Breeze Volunteer Fire House is a hub of relief activity as the community tries to recover after Hurricane Sandy. During the storm, flood waters swallowed streets and fires engulfed homes across Breezy Point. Read more: NY1

MTA boss Joseph Lhota: Sandy subway woes still affecting 500,000 commuters

Subway service is still screwed up for approximately 500,000 riders because of the damage Hurricane Sandy brought down on the system, MTA Chairman Joseph Lhota said Thursday. Some riders are enduring longer and more crowded trips because their stations or line segments are still out of commission while others have longer waits because their regular trains are coming less frequently, Lhota said. Read more: Daily News

Mac Computers to be Made in the USA

One of the Mac line of computers will be manufactured in the USA next year, Apple CEO Tim Cook announced in an interview with Brian Williams on NBC’s Rock Center. Read more: Forbes

Limited subway service returns; MTA fares free today & tomorrow


| brennison@queenscourier.com

Photo via Flickr/saitowitz

After three days without subways, residents crowded onto trains this morning as limited service returned today with no fares.

Fourteen lines will be providing partial service days after the system sustained the worst damage in its 108-year history.  There is still no subway service between 34th St in Midtown and Downtown Brooklyn.

The MTA’s subway, bus and commuter rails will be free for today and tomorrow, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced yesterday.

“The gridlock we experienced yesterday shows that the New York metropolitan region is in a transportation emergency,” Cuomo said. “To get people out of their cars and onto mass transit, I immediately authorized the MTA to suspend transit fares through the end of the work week.”

Mayor Michael Bloomberg also announced a three-passenger minimum for cars entering Manhattan between 6 a.m. and midnight today and tomorrow to help ease traffic.

Bus service will supplement lines that are unable to operate.

There is still no date on when full subway service will be restored.

Limited Long Island Railroad and Metro-North service also began yesterday.

Metro-North will operate close to regular service between Mount Kisco and Grand Central Terminal on the Harlem Line and on the New Haven Line between Stamford and Grand Central Terminal, according to the MTA.

The LIRR will offer hourly service on the Ronkonkoma Branch and on the Port Washington Branch from Great Neck for the morning rush.

LIRR customers should hold on to their October monthly tickets, which will be honored through Monday.

Buses are running as close to a normal weekday schedule as possible with necessary reroutes due to downed trees and street closures.

SUBWAY SERVICE: See the map of restored service here

1: Will operate local between 242nd Street (Bronx) and Times Square-42nd Street.

2: Will operate between 241st Street (Bronx) and Times Square-42nd St, with express service between 96th Street and Times Square.

3: Suspended

4: Will make all local stops between Woodlawn and 42nd Strett and between Borough Hall and New Lots Avenue.

5: Will operate express in Brooklyn between Atlantic Avenue-Barclays Center and Flatbush Avenue.

6: Will operate local between Pelham Bay Park and Grand Central-42nd St

7: Suspended

A: Will operate between 168th Street and 34th St and between Jay Street and Lefferts Boulevard.

B: Suspended

C: Suspended

D: Will operate locally between 205th Street (Bronx) and 34th Street-Herald Square and in Brooklyn between Atlantic Avenue-Barclays Center and Bay Parkway making express stops between Pacific Street and 36th Street.

E: Suspended

F: Will be making all local stops between 179th Street (Queens) and 34th Street and in Brooklyn between Jay Street and Avenue X.

G: Suspended

J: Will operate locally between Jamaica Center and Hewes Street. M trains btwn Myrtle Ave-Broadway & Metropolitan Ave

L: Will operate locally between Broadway Junction and Rockaway Parkway.

M: Will operate between Myrtle Avenue-Broadway and Metropolitan Avenue.

N: Will opearte locally between Ditmars Boulevard and 34th Street.

Q: Suspended

R: Will make local stops in Brooklyn between Jay Street and 95th Street.

 

Queens Morning Roundup


| brennison@queenscourier.com

Today’s Forecast

Thursday: A slight chance of showers after 3pm. Cloudy, with a high near 56. West wind 9 to 13 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%. Thursday night: A slight chance of showers before 10pm. Cloudy, with a low around 47. West wind 9 to 11 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%.

Limited subway service returns this morning

Limited subway service will return to New York City tomorrow morning, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced. Fourteen lines will be providing partial service days after the system sustained the worst damage in its 108-year history. There is no indication as of yet what lines or stops will be in service. There will be no subway service between 34th St in Midtown and Downtown Brooklyn. Read more: Queens Courier

Mayor mandates car passenger minimums in Manhattan

Cars with less than three passengers will be virtually barred from entering Manhattan, Mayor Bloomberg announced today, in a desperate bid to relief gridlocked city streets. This post-Hurricane Sandy rule will be enforced from 6 a.m. to midnight tomorrow and Friday. Read more: NY Post

Old Howard Beach residents wonder why they weren’t evacuated

As the flood waters from Hurricane Sandy ebb back in to Jamaica Bay, some are questioning why residents of Howard Beach were not evacuated. Howard Beach lies on the edge of Evacuation Zone A, which, for Queens, includes the Rockaways, parts of Long Island City, Broad Channel and nearby Hamilton Beach. Read more: Queens Courier

Bellevue Hospital evacuating patients after power outage

Bellevue Hospital began evacuating hundreds of patients Wednesday after fuel pumps swamped by 17 million gallons of water from superstorm Sandy conked out, putting backup generators in peril. The decision to clear out capped two challenging days at the city’s flagship public hospital — where lights flickered, elevators shut down, plumbing failed and the National Guard had to man a bucket brigade. Read more: Daily News

Prominent Queens attorney and philanthropist John G. Nicholas dies at age 79

John G. Nicholas, a prominent Queens lawyer and philanthropist, died on Oct. 15. He was 79. His family said the cause of death was heart failure. “He was a true humanitarian and he placed his faith in people,” said his son Charles Nicholas, 51, an attorney from Syosset, L.I. “He was a defender of the oppressed.” Read more: Daily News

No timetable for return of subway; limited bus service to resume at 5 p.m.


| brennison@queenscourier.com

Photo via Facebook

Extensive flooding in the city’s subway system continues to knock out service with no timetable for trains to be up and running.

“The New York City subway system is 108 years old, but it has never faced a disaster as devastating as what we experienced last night. Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc on our entire transportation system,” said MTA Chair and CEO Joe Lhota.

The storm caused extensive flooding in all under river subway tunnels, said Mayor Michael Bloomberg.  Some railyards also suffered from flooding.

“That’s going to be a big problem to get them going,” Bloomberg said.

Lhota said the MTA is currently assessing the extent of the damage on the lines.

“Once we complete or assessment we will know more about when the system is up and running,” Lhota said.

If the agency can restore some parts of the system, those lines will resume service when possible, he said.

Buses will be used where train are unable to run.

Buses will resume with limited service today beginning at 5 p.m., said Governor Andrew Cuomo.  By tomorrow, he said he hopes all bus routes will be running.  There will be no fares on buses today and tomorrow.

 

 

Politicians, locals want trash barged


| brennison@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/photo by Billy Rennison

Locals and elected officials trashed a recently approved plan that will increase waste-filled train traffic, saying residents need refuge from the refuse.

The state’s Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) approved a plan on June 11 that increases the amount of sanitation districts’ garbage that passes through the Review Avenue waste transfer station and ends up on trains that travel through Glendale, Middle Village and Maspeth.

Currently, 958 tons of residential waste is delivered to the site, Waste Management spokesperson George McGrath said. The new plan will add an additional 200 tons from districts in Queens. The increase would not take place until after the facility is renovated, which has no timetable, he said.

For years, residents have complained about the noise and odor from the trains.

“You have people who can’t open their windows. You have people that I know of that have moved,” said Anthony Pedalino, who lives just down the street from the Middle Village tracks. “It’s just become a nightmare.”

Pedalino documents the daily disturbances recording the times the trains pass behind his house, with the times often occurring before 6 a.m.

Instead of alleviating the issues, homeowners are worried their troubles will only increase.

The DEC said the Department of Sanitation’s (DSNY) analysis found the project’s impact would not be considered significant under the criteria in the State Environmental Quality Review regulation.

“I think any amount of increased noise or odor pollution is too much to withstand for these residents,” State Senator Joe Addabbo said. “These residents don’t need more rails bothering them on a daily basis.”

The DSNY could not be reached for comment as of press time.

Area officials — including State Senator Michael Gianaris, Assemblymember Mike Miller and Councilmember Elizabeth Crowley — gathered with residents outside the waste transfer station to urge the DEC to reconsider the plan and instead barge the garbage.

Currently, the garbage travels from the Long Island City facility north to Selkirk, NY, crosses the Hudson River and travels back south through New Jersey to Waste Management’s landfill in West Virginia.

“Now I don’t think that makes much sense when you consider this facility is sitting on the Newtown Creek, a waterway,” said Bob Holden, president of the Juniper Park Civic Association.

Holden and the elected officials want the trash barged to a New Jersey port, either Port Elizabeth or Port Newark, both of which have stops along the CSX rail line that carries the trash.

“All we’re saying is we know the issue, we have to get rid of our waste. Well, we’re saying rationally, go with the barge, it’s right here; enough with the rail,” Addabbo said.

Any legislation to change the route would have to be federal because of the interstate travel.

While barging was considered, McGrath said, the narrowness of Newtown Creek at that point creates logistical problems.

“There is no place to store barges in that area, so you have to move them in and out several times a day,” McGrath said. “That in turn probably involves lifting the Greenpoint Avenue Bridge several times a day.”

“Our focus is working with customers in moving waste as efficiently as possible. In this location we believe rail is the way to go.”

Survey sees ‘good,’ ‘bad’ and ‘ugly’ of subways


| brennison@queenscourier.com

For those heading into the subway, a can of paint and a light bulb may be of more use than a MetroCard.

In its inaugural “State of the Station Platforms” survey, the Straphangers Campaign found subway stations with peeling paint, graffiti and cracked floors — but the findings were not all negative.

“We found the good, the bad and the ugly,” said Jason Chin-Fatt, the Straphanger Campaign organizer who oversaw the survey.

The non-profit surveyed 12 platform conditions, including the presence of garbage cans (the good); rats (the bad); and broken light fixtures (the ugly).

Among the good were garbage cans at every station and none were found to be overflowing. Only six percent of platforms contained large garbage bags.

Many seasoned straphangers may be more familiar with the bad and ugly, however.

Rats have long been associated with entering the depths of the subways, and the rodents were found during the survey, but at just 11 percent of stations. This still landed it in the bad category, which was any condition found at between 10 and 50 percent of stations. More bad included graffiti at 20 percent of stations, exposed wiring at 28 percent and cracked floors on a third of platforms.

The ugly — conditions found at more than 50 percent of platforms — consisted of broken lights seen at half the stations assessed, substantial water damage at 53 percent of stations and the most frequently observed condition, substantial peeling paint at 79 percent of stations.

The MTA stated that improving the appearance and cleanliness of the system’s stations is among its top priorities.

“We have deployed more personnel and resources to remove trash from stations in a timely manner while we continue the station component program, which targets specific repairs and improvements at more stations around the system,” said an MTA spokesperson.

The non-profit’s survey was based on observations at 120 randomly-selected subway stations — including 17 in Queens — between July 11 and September 24, 2011.