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Rockaway Line Plan Not Popular with Local Leaders

Koslowitz, Stuchinski say they will fight any proposal to reopen the former railroad.

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. 

AcelaRunner May 11, 2012 at 04:29 AM
I hope they've considered the alternative option of Light Rail, the rail equipments [including rail-cars and such] and trackages are super-quiet and are the best interest of the city and community. I would however want the Queens Convention Center plan to solidify before they start work on the right of way.
AAPremlall May 11, 2012 at 12:50 PM
I very much appreciate that our local leaders who live, work and serve these areas are so aware of the concerns of their community and how this would affect their lives. The proposal for a greenway has far more advantages for the families living along the tracks and fits well with PlaNYC's goal of having a park within 10 minutes.


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