City Councilwoman Karen Koslowitz has come out strongly against a reported plan to revive the Rockaway Line, a former commuter rail that has been defunct in Queens for more than 50 years.
The line, which currently bisects parts of southern Forest Hills, among other neighborhoods, has been the subject of many competing plans, including one to turn it into a Queens version of the famous High Line park in Manhattan.
At the Forest Hills Civic Association meeting this week, Koslowitz said the plan to revive the line would be too disruptive to residents who’ve made their homes just feet away from the former railroad.
“It will affect this neighborhood in a very, very bad way,” Koslowitz said. “People’s homes are there, we do not want the value of our houses to go down the drain.”
Civic President Barbara Stuchinski agreed, saying her group would work against any plan that involved adding more trains to the community.
“There’s no money to build it, there’s no reason to build it,” Stuchinski said. “We will fight it.”
The revived railroad could potentially be used to shuttle gamblers and tourists
In a question and answer session with City Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley, who was on hand to discuss the upcoming Democratic primary, some neighborhood residents expressed an interest in exploring the possibility, given the economic boost it could give the borough.
Crowley was noncommittal, saying she was in favor of the plan to build a convention center, but that the city needed to hedge its bets when it came to getting people there.
“I think we have to explore all options as it relates to the best proposal of getting people to and from the convention center, and I’m not in supportive of an idea that’s going to disrupt people’s lives [who] live in an area that was once a train but is now just a dormant area,” Crowley said.