Queens Lawmakers On The Move Sept. 25, 2018

Queens County City Council News

Ulrich Urges EDC to Give Students Free, Reduced NYC Ferry Fares

City Council Member Eric Ulrich

City Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Belle Harbor, Breezy Point, Broad Channel, Howard Beach, Lindenwood, Neponsit, Ozone Park, Richmond Hill, Rockaway Park, Roxbury, South Ozone Park, West Hamilton Beach, Woodhaven) is calling on the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) to offer students free and reduced Citywide Ferry fares.

In a letter penned to EDC President James Patchett, Ulrich urges EDC to adopt a student discount program modeled after the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA). Currently, only seniors and people with disabilities are eligible to receive reduced NYC Ferry fares.

“I write today to respectfully request that EDC expand these benefits to include New York City students,” wrote Ulrich. “Since NYC Ferry’s launch last year, I have been approached by a number of constituents who have expressed the need for a student discount program – similar to the one that is offered by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA).”

Ulrich points out in the letter that, because the ferry system is not integrated with the MTA, families with students who rely on both ferry and MTA service to get to and from school wind up paying for two separate fares.

“New York City public schools are open 180 days per year. Families with students who currently depend on both NYC Ferry and MTA service are spending $990 more annually than those who rely solely on MTA service,” Ulrich notes. “Oftentimes, the added financial burden deters students from utilizing the more efficient ferry service, adding an additional hour to their commute to save money.”

“Nearly 30 percent of all New York City students are living below the poverty line,” the Councilman adds. “Low-income families have greatly benefited from the MTA’s program, which provides more than half-a-million students with free and/or discounted MetroCard rides during specific hours on weekdays. I wholeheartedly believe that students who use NYC Ferry to get to and from school deserve a similar free/reduced fare program.”

Addabbo Continues To Push For Lon-Term Howard Beach Underpass Cleanup Solution

Senator Joseph Addabbo Jr.

State Sen. Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. (D-Howard Beach, Ozone Park, Woodhaven, Glendale, Middle Village, Maspeth and parts of South Ozone Park, Ridgewood, Woodside and The Rockaways) announced yesterday he is continuing to work with both city and state agencies in regard to keeping the underpass at 84th Street between 157th Avenue and Shore Parkway in Howard Beach clean.

Addabbo has reached out to the New York City Department of Sanitation (DSNY) as well as the New York State Department of Transportation (NYS DOT) regarding this community issue. While the two agencies have created short-term solutions, Addabbo is working towards a more long-term resolution to the matter.

“I am grateful for the assistance both the DSNY and NYS DOT have given on this problem,” Addabbo said. “However, after the solutions were implement, the problem has persisted, which is why I will work together with governmental agencies to create a long-term solution to this problem.”

Addabbo has experience with a similar situation within his district in Middle Village. Back in 2016, Addabbo collaborated with the State DOT to resolve an issue of excessive pigeon waste at the underpass along 80th Street under the Long Island Expressway. There the NYS DOT, after reviewing the situation, placed wooden boards underneath the roadway to prevent pigeons from congregating.

“No community should have to live with an underpass that is not only an eyesore, but a health hazard as well,” Addabbo noted. “We were able to mitigate the situation in Middle Village, and I have no doubt that the underpass in Howard Beach will see similar results. I appreciate all my constituents who have contacted me regarding this issue and I understand their frustration, but I want them to know this will be resolved.”

Katz Lauds & Promotes 2019 Love Your Block Program

Queens Borough President Melinda Katz

Queens Borough President Melinda Katz yesterday lauded the city’s launch of the 2019 Love Your Block application to support residents in transforming public spaces and engaging neighborhood volunteers to make local change.

Twenty-five community groups will be selected as Love Your Block winners and rewarded a $1,000 grant, project management support, and City agency services to improve their neighborhood. The application will remain open through Wednesday, November 7.

“Civic activism is a hallmark of life in Queens and across the five boroughs,” said Borough President Melinda Katz. “New York City is at its best when citizens take the lead in their communities, and the resources available through the Love Your Block initiative will go a long way toward helping residents make their neighborhoods better places to live.”

NYC Service and Citizens Committee for New York City encourage resident-led volunteer groups across all five boroughs to apply for a Love Your Block Grant by November 7. Visit nyc.gov/loveyourblock for more information. Interested participants may also attend aLove Your Block Information Sessions from 6-7:30 p.m., October 16 or October 23. Contact [email protected] or call (212) 822-9579 for more information and to RSVP.

Van Bramer Promotes Sunnyside Shines Restaurant Week

City Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer

City Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside, Woodside, Long Island City, Astoria, Dutch Kills) is inviting residents everywhere to join him on the ultimate food exploration as Sunnyside Shines celebrates their 6th Annual Sunnyside Restaurant Week.

This year, a total of 46 restaurants and food purveyors throughout our neighborhood are participating.

“This week (and every week), I encourage you to eat locally and to support the growing number of diverse and delicious restaurants in Sunnyside,” said Van Bramer.

You can check out the full list of participating restaurants here.