2005-11-30 / Features

Queens’ Reps In Washington Win Funds For Transportation Projects

By john Toscano


Clinton, left, and her colleague, Senator Charles Schumer, right, made a strong push for  major transportation projects, along with the borough’s representatives inCongress.

Clinton, left, and her colleague, Senator Charles Schumer, right, made a strong push for major transportation projects, along with the borough’s representatives inCongress. Queens lawmakers in Washington raked in a bonanza of transportation funding for projects throughout the borough in the recently passed federal Transportation Budget, topped by $340 million for the East Side Access project that includes a new Long Island Rail Road station in Sunnyside.

The budget also includes $25 million for the Second Avenue subway, according to a spokesperson for United States Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (D–New York).

Clinton and her colleague, Senator Charles Schumer had made a strong push for both of these major transportation projects, along with the borough’s representatives in Congress.

The multi-billion-dollar Fiscal Year 2006 Transportation Appropriations bill passed the House and Senate on November 19 and is expected to be signed into law by President George W. Bush.

Among the other projects funded in the massive bill were three secured by Congressmember Carolyn Maloney: $800,000 for the redevelopment of Queens Plaza in Long Island City; $150,000 for renovations to the Sunnyside Community Services facilities on 39th Street in Sunnyside, and another $150,000 to expand the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria.

Congressmember Joseph Crowley (D–Queens/Bronx) reported four projects funded: $600,000 for a La Guardia Airport ferry; $300,000 for a Brooklyn–Queens Expressway (BQE) mitigation study; $650,000 for a BQE environmental shield, and $150,000 for Elmcor Youth and Adult Services.

Crowley stated: “As a member of Congress, one of the greatest gifts we can bring to our constituents is relief from the stress that they face on a daily basis going to school, work or the doctor’s office. This funding will go a long way toward improving the quality of life for working families in Queens.”

The $340 million directed to the East Side Access project in the eight years since the project was started brings the total funding for the project to just under $1 billion.

The project will bring the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) into Grand Central Station on the East Side of Manhattan for the first time. At this point, the LIRR operates only out of Penn Station on Manhattan’s West Side.

Among the other projects funded in the massive bill were three secured by Congressmember Carolyn Maloney:
Among the other projects funded in the massive bill were three secured by Congressmember Carolyn Maloney: New tracks and tunnel are presently under construction in Long Island City and will connect with tracks that will link up with the transit tunnel in Long Island City that carry several subway lines between Queens and Manhattan.

Maloney (D–Queens/Man-hattan) stated that the Access route would carry about 162,000 new passengers, including 5,000 residents of Western Queens, every day via a new LIRR station in Sunnyside at Queens Boulevard and Skillman Avenue.

“The station will also be used by commuters heading to the fast-growing Long Island City business district, the fourth largest business center in New York City,” Maloney said.

Schumer has described the East Side Access project as a must for the future of New York’s economy. It will provide a direct ride for thousands of LIRR commuters who work on the East Side and now take buses or shuttles to work when they arrive at Penn Station.

Congressmember Joseph Crowley (D–Queens/ Bronx) reported four projects funded
Congressmember Joseph Crowley (D–Queens/ Bronx) reported four projects funded Clinton said the project would give New Yorkers even greater public transportation options, relieve the problem of overcrowding on the LIRR and the subways and improve the quality of life for both residents and commuters.

As for allotting $25 million to the Second Avenue Subway, Schumer said the new subway line would relieve terrible overcrowding on the Lexington Avenue line. Clinton said the Second Avenue line would give New York straphangers more choices.

Maloney said the $800,000 for the Queens Plaza Roadway Rebuilding Project will redesign the plaza, through which thousands of cars pass each morning and night going to and from the Queensboro Bridge. The project’s principal objective, the lawmaker said, is to reduce traffic congestion and improve air quality in the plaza by encouraging mass transit and other alternative forms of transportation.

Maloney said that innovative new classrooms and digital laboratories will be built in the expansion of the Museum of the Moving Image (MMI). The new classrooms will double the number of school children and teachers which the Astoria-based museum serves, she stated. The new digital labs will dramatically expand the facility’s already significant national impact through online programs and study guides, she added.

“Through the use of the moving image media—the most accessible and popular form of communication, information, and entertainment in the world—the museum provides students with intellectually challenging encounters that spark imaginations and spur interest in learning,” Maloney explained.

The changes at Sunnyside Community Services will be covered in the senior Spotlight column found elsewhere in this edition of the Gazette.

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