Monday, September 17, 2012

WRBA To Host Forum on Inactive Railroad Tracks

With debate swirling around competing plans for the defunct Rockaway Branch rail line, the Woodhaven Residents' Block Association is ensuring that the people of Woodhaven will have an opportunity to develop and voice an informed opinion on the matter.

On Saturday, Sept. 29, at 1 p.m., the WRBA will host a special forum dedicated exclusively to the question of what to do with the railroad tracks, which run along 98th Street in Woodhaven. The meeting will feature presentations by a speaker supporting each of the two leading proposals: returning the tracks to use for an active train line, or converting the route into a walkway and bike path dubbed The QueensWay. After those speakers present their proposals, they will hear the questions and thoughts of the residents in attendance.

The defunct railroad tracks crossing Jamaica Avenue.
"My entire life, I've resided just a block away from those tracks. I know that either proposal, if it became a reality, would have an enormous impact on those who live nearby, and on Woodhaven as a whole," said WRBA Director of Communications Alex Blenkinsopp. "Other neighborhoods have publicly weighed in on this debate. Now it's time for the people of Woodhaven to hear the arguments for each side, ask tough questions, and make known where they stand."

All are welcome to attend, but the forum is for the residents of Woodhaven to ask questions and voice their opinions. The forum will also play an important role in helping the WRBA formulate its position on this issue, since the organization has not yet officially taken a stance.

The defunct railroad tracks crossing Park Lane South.
To make the forum as accessible as possible to those who would be most directly affected, this meeting will be held just around the block from the rail line, at Queens Tabernacle, 86-03 96th Street, in Woodhaven.

The defunct railroad tracks run through Woodhaven, crossing over Jamaica Avenue at the Woodhaven-Richmond Hill border. They are located just east of Woodhaven residences on 98th Street, including the Forest Park Co-ops.

Those who attend the forum will receive a written summary of each side's proposal. After the forum, the WRBA will post those summaries on its website,, so that those who can't attend will be able to read about the competing plans.

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WRBA office: (718) 296-3735