The study will look at improving access to jobs, goods, services, and destinations within eastern Rockaway and the rest of the city.
“The eastern side of the Rockaways has been starving for more reliable transportation options for decades, so it is wonderful to see a multi-agency approach aimed at improving access to jobs and resources,” said Councilman Donovan Richards.
The study, titled “Access to Opportunity: Transportation and Housing Study in the Eastern Rockaways,” will specifically investigate the ease of access residents have by way of roads, public transit, walking and cycling. It will make infrastructure and land use recommendations.
Specifically, the study is targeting is the area between the Cross Bay-Veterans Memorial Bridge and the Nassau County line.
“This collaborative study has real potential to reshape transportation in the Rockaways by making the peninsula more accessible for drivers, mass transit commuters and bikers,” said Senator Charles Schumer. “We all know how important intermodal connectivity is, especially for a community like Rockaway that was hard-hit by Superstorm Sandy, and that’s why we need to develop better-connected transportation options for Rockaway residents.”
Funding for the project was made possible through a $1.5 million grant from the federal Department of Transportation.
“We are proud to have secured this TIGER grant funding in coordination with HPD to align transportation and land use investments in the Eastern Rockaways and to better tie neighborhoods like Edgemere and Bayswater to job centers and services throughout the city,” said DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg. “This joint effort will fund resilient infrastructure, improve connections between vibrant communities and help support local economies, all to create a stronger Rockaway peninsula moving forward.”
For Rockaway residents, many of whom are still recovering from Superstorm Sandy, increased access to an area starved for public transportation is a big positive. Local lawmakers noted that increasing access to transit will help alleviate some of the income struggles residents of Far Rockaway face.
“To combat income inequality we have to use every tool available to us, and that includes improving housing and transportation,” said State Senator James Sanders. “They affect so much of our daily lives. A person can’t find a job, if they don’t have a way to get to a job. Hopefully, the information that is collected and compiled from these studies will help facilitate some of the improvements this community so desperately needs.”