Breaking Rockaway Even More
There is a lot to dislike about the Bus Network Redesign for Rockaway. It doesn’t only worsen service; it further fragments our community.
While the loss of the Q53 would be the greatest blow to travelers, I think the discontinuation of the Q22 west of Beach 116th Street is very disappointing. Ridership may have been low –in part due to unreliable service– but the Q22 has been the symbolic link across all neighborhoods from Far Rock to Roxbury for my entire life.
Over the past several years, the city and the MTA have made traveling across our peninsula more difficult. First, they dropped the H Train that used to link Mott Avenue with Beach 116th Street. More recently, the city has cut back on our east-west driving arteries. A section of Rockaway “Freeway” was closed while the rest of the roadway was narrowed to one lane in each direction. Rockaway Beach Blvd. also lost space to bike and bus lanes. The drive is now a slow-moving zig-zag. With the proposed shortening of the Q22 line, bus riders will have to transfer to get from one end of the peninsula to the other.
From a travel perspective, it is actually easier for people in Belle Harbor or Neponsit to spend their restaurant and shopping money in Brooklyn instead of Arverne Plaza or Mott Avenue. With all of the recent and planned investments, we should be encouraging people to support the local economy.
Unfortunately, if the city and MTA have their way, Far Rockaway will be even farther away and people on the western portions of the peninsula will need to take three buses to get home from Broad Channel or mainland Queens.