Commuters in Glendale and Middle Village deal with limited public transportation options. Most residents in both communities live a mile or farther away from the nearest subway station, and local bus lines through the area have a reputation for being slow and overcrowded.
City Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley hopes to change this situation with a plan to introduce light rail service between Glendale and Long Island City on the Long Island Rail Road’s Montauk branch, which currently offers only freight service west of Jamaica. She hopes to pitch the idea to the Department of City Planning in the coming weeks.
In an exclusive interview with the Ridgewood Times on Monday at her district office, Crowley said a new diesel-powered light rail line would address the transportation needs in Glendale and surrounding communities. ***The light rail line could also encourage redevelopment of underutilized industrially zoned areas adjacent to the line for business or residential purposes.***
Crowley doesn’t suggest rebuilding the former Glendale station, but rather creating a new stop at The Shops at Atlas Park, noting that the shopping center—where her district office is also located—could serve as an active park-and-ride option for local residents.
“If we were able to get a rail here, people could potentially use this spot as park-and-ride, or the community around us could take a bus to the train or walk to the train,” Crowley said. “It provides options for public transportation that would effectively get more cars off our streets.”
She also pointed to an area near Flushing Avenue in Maspeth as another potential station site, noting that it’s close to the connecting LIRR Bushwick branch, another freight rail line that Crowley suggested could potentially also accommodate light rail service.
We all know Atlas Park isn't doing well and that Liz's friends, the Argentos, recently opened a soundstage next to Atlas Park. So it's interesting that she admits that she wants to boost their real estate value by building a light rail station there. But I guess she forgot that there are 2 at grade crossings west of Flushing Avenue, which a light rail to LIC would be forced to pass through, including one which just experienced a serious collision this past week due to a malfunctioning signal. And where are all the freight trains on the line going to go? Freight traffic is increasing, not decreasing.