Redress of Grievances

A petition drive was launched 3 weeks ago by <> along 98 Street in Woodhaven. The 186 houses between Park Lane South and Atlantic Avenue were targeted. Volunteers returned morning, noon, and night, knocking on every door three or four times, in an effort to include everyone.

Three petitions were offered for consideration. One supported “construction of light rail service” along the abandoned Rockaway rail line. A second petition supported “construction of a bike path” along the same abandoned rail line. The last petition “opposed…any development, bike path or railway” along the old abandoned Rockaway branch of the Long Island Railroad.

Signatures continue to be collected. The ultimate goal is 100% coverage, but here are the results of the polling so far.

There are 186 addresses along 98 Street. Nine houses are unoccupied at the present time. Of the 177 possible residences, signatures were collected from 118. That’s 66.67% of the residences. Two-thirds.

Signatures were collected only from residents 18 years of age and older. Of the 230 signatures collected, 226 people (or 98.3%) were opposed to any development along the old Rockaway line. Four people (or 1.7%) thought a bike path was a good idea. No one who lives along 98 Street between Park Lane South and Atlantic Avenue in Woodhaven supports the restoration of the railway.

These results have been sent to Council members Elizabeth Crowley and Eric Ulrich, both of whom will in all likelihood seek re-election this November. The results were sent to Assemblymen Michael Miller and Andrew Hevasi. State Senator James Sanders received the results as well. The two leading candidates for Queens Borough President this November, Councilman Peter Vallone, Jr and former Assemblywoman Melinda Katz, were also given the results. We will continue to add to this list.

The elected officials were informed that that the nearly 200 families who live along 98 Street are overwhelmingly opposed to any development of that property. The elected officials and the candidates were informed that a small clique [nefarious FQs! Oh my!] on Community Board 9 has made common cause with a group of out-of-state “lawyers, real estate professionals, and bankers” [the San Francisco-based Trust for Public Land, whose NY rep is from Alaska!] to destroy our property values, ruin our quality of life, and endanger our personal safety.

The elected officials were informed that a feasibility study, funded by a $467,000 grant from New York State, was about to be launched. The state can’t fund senior citizen centers, veterans’ programs, or our public schools, but it can find $467,000 for this boondoggle! The elected officials were asked, “with nearly half-a-million-dollars in hand, is there really any question about the study’s ultimate findings?” [note to the FQs, many of whom are avid readers of this blog: that’s a rhetorical question.]

In fact, back on 6 February, Community Board 9 sent a letter to our elected officials that talked about the planned ribbon cutting! Of all the unmitigated gall! At least wait until the final study is published and reports that all those trolls opposed to this really keen idea have been silenced or packed off to a gulag. Then announce your ribbon cutting.

Living “on top of a park,” looking down your nose at the “little people,” telling yourself over and over again that you’re a good person, engenders this kind of hubris, arrogance, and condescension!

The elected officials and candidates were invited to come to 98 Street and stand in our backyards, and behold for themselves the enormity of this proposed disaster.

Stay tuned, sports fans.

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