Home Asides Queens BP candidates sound off on QueensWay

Queens BP candidates sound off on QueensWay

by Benjamin Kabak

In this seemingly never-ending run-up to the September primaries, candidates for various city offices have been gathering on a near-daily basis for forums, debates and all sorts of public appearances. Yesterday, the Queens borough president hopefuls convened for a Town Hall in Flushing, and the topic of the QueensWay/Rockaway Beach Branch line came up. As Lisa Colangelo of the Daily News reports, only a long-shot candidate voice support for the park.

According to Colangelo, Everly Brown told the audience that he supports the greenspace because “it’s important to create parks.” The two leading candidates — Peter Vallone, Jr., whose dad helped kill a subway to La Guardia, and Melinda Katz — hedged. Vallone said that rail is his “first priority” due to the lack of transit options in the Rockaways and southern parts of Queens while Katz declined to take a position one way or another until the feasibility study is released. (The GOP candidate, running unopposed, echoed Katz’s views.)

Ultimately, in the debate over the future of the Rockaway Beach Branch right of the way and the QueensWay, the borough president has some say. Because of the role the BP’s offices play in the city’s land use review policy, the next Queens borough president can influence the push to either reactivate rail or turn the ROW into a park. That Vallone supports rail is comforting for reactivation proponents as he is the slight frontrunner, but these are just chess pieces moving into place.

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10 comments

JMB August 27, 2013 - 6:44 pm

Good job Vallone 🙂 Maybe this can be the first step you can begin do to erase the mistake of your father

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aestrivex August 27, 2013 - 8:19 pm

Declining to say anything except “I’d really like to run that feasibility study, here’s some money to do that,” seems like an eminently reasonable position.

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Bolwerk August 27, 2013 - 10:59 pm

How can you run for BP and know your own borough so badly as to not even have an opinion? It’d be one thing if the opinion is, “well, I’m inclined to prefer x, but a feasibility is necessary to to prove the financial viability.”

But claiming to no opinion at all? That means you’re either stupid/pig ignorant beyond belief or lying to try to avoid offending anyone.

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John Paul N. August 28, 2013 - 4:16 am

From this, it sounds as if she’s conflicted about both options.

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alen August 28, 2013 - 9:29 am

if he says he is for activating it then there is a good chance he will lose because a lot of the people that live close to it will turn out to vote against him. otherwise no one cares about the BP office

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Bolwerk August 28, 2013 - 11:33 am

And if he’s for it on the grounds that it improves commutes, there’s a smaller chance a lot of Queens residents will slap their foreheads and say, “Hurr, wow, it never occurred to me that trains improve commutes!” Amirite?

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alen August 28, 2013 - 11:55 am

what is the turnout ratio for a BP candidate? a dedicated turnout by angry homeowners can tip the balance into defeat.

most of the people who think this is a good idea may not even turn out to vote

BruceNY August 28, 2013 - 1:02 pm

Since this year we are also electing a mayor, I would guess the turnout would be fairly high.

alen August 28, 2013 - 1:58 pm

higher than the 1.1 million who voted in 2009? out of what, 5 million eligible voters?

Bolwerk August 28, 2013 - 2:38 pm

Fair enough, but actually offering something positive to a lot of people can turn out even more people. Maybe it’s not quite as easy, but the payoff is probably better.

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