Sunday, December 31, 2023

Trees of strife


NY Post

A tree grows in Queens — in the middle of the sidewalk.

Astoria residents are baffled over four trees that were planted smack in the center of the sidewalk on 29th Street, off of Broadway, on Dec. 26.

One of them was placed right in front of 31-38 29th St. and Erick Elias, the superintendent of the building, said he first got word of it when a tenant sent him a photo.

“The day after Christmas, he sent us a picture of it that said, ‘Did the landlord order a tree?'” he told The Post.

“So I went outside and was like, ‘Holy crap, it’s real. There’s a tree in the middle of the sidewalk.'”

Elias, 39, said three others were also planted on his block that day, also in the middle of the sidewalk, on the other side of the street.

“And apparently I’m hearing that it’s happening in a couple of other places in Astoria and also in Sunnyside,” he said.

About a week and a half prior, he heard what he thought was construction in front of his home one morning.

“At 7 a.m. on the dot, we started hearing jackhammering. When we leave to go to work, we see this dirt patch right in the middle of the sidewalk and we’re like, ‘What the hell is this?'” he recalled.

“We’re all thinking pipework or something. None of us are thinking ‘tree’ because it’s in the middle of the sidewalk.”

Neighbors have taken to social media to express their concerns with the out-of-place plantings.

“Anyone know why they’re putting trees in the *middle* of the sidewalk on 29th St in Astoria?,” @vidiot_ posted on X on Dec. 29 along with a photo of one, which is across from Elias’ building.

The conversation on X included a link to the Reddit discussion over the tree planted in front of Elias’ building, which started with a photo and the caption, “All about planting trees, but this seems a little odd.”

A Reddit user even found the permit for the tree pit, issued in November.

“Who approved this brilliant idea ?!?!!! Trees in the middle of the sidewalk??? WTF” Debra Roy Vecchio wrote on the Facebook group Astoria Centric, along with a photo of one of the trees.

“Absolutely ridiculous. This requires a lawsuit,” added Maria Dourmas Hriso Mallis.

Caption Linky Restler


Thought this would be a good way to end 2023. Our favorite fauxgressive in a bad mood at a fake protest with his masters from lobbyist non profits Transportation Alternatives and Open Plans last summer. This is the first time I've seen him really pissed off. He's come a long way since he was gerrymandering homeless people for former mayor and now gigolo Bill de Blasio. Happy New Year everybody.

Saturday, December 30, 2023

Assassination in Little Guyana
Photo by JQ LLC

CBS New York

Police are investigating a shooting in Queens that left a woman dead and a man hospitalized. 

CBS New York's John Dias spoke with people who heard the commotion, and obtained exclusive video of the shooting. 

The video shows the intense moments before a deadly shooting in Richmond Hill just before midnight Wednesday morning. 

It shows two people wearing hoods that conceal their faces as they casually walk across Liberty Avenue by 127th Street while a third paces along on the sidewalk. 

The three then quickly whip out guns, and start shooting into a parked car. 

One man said he heard about 20 shots. He told Dias the overwhelming number of shots he head had him thinking someone was using a military rifle. 

"Like, semi-automatic," he said. "It goes bang bang, then bang bang bang." 

Police said 28-year-old Clarisa Burgos of Brooklyn was fatally shot in the head. A 39-year-old man driving the car was shot multiple times in his chest and torso. 

The video shows him driving frantically away from the scene right after. Police said he drove two miles to the 103rd police precinct in Jamaica to get help. He was then rushed to the hospital. We're told he is expected to survive. 

"That's crazy to hear," one man who just moved down the street last year said. "That's not right. It makes me sad... That's not nice. Not happy at all." 

Police are still trying to work out a motive. 

So far, no arrests have been made.

Drive, we said


More people are driving cars in New York City than ever before, based on toll data from the MTA and Port Authority — a remarkable feat as the city prepares to implement congestion pricing in the hopes of dissuading motorists from getting behind the wheel in favor of mass transit.

Over 335 million vehicles were recorded crossing the MTA’s nine bridges and tunnels in 2023, which include the Whitestone, Throgs Neck, Cross-Bay, and Verrazzano-Narrows Bridges and the Brooklyn-Battery and Queens-Midtown Tunnels, among others. That’s a 1.3% increase over the previous record in 2019, when 330.7 million crossings were made, and the most ever seen in 87 years of data collection.

In 1937 — the first year that the MTA Bridges & Tunnels’ predecessor, the Triborough Bridge & Tunnel Authority, was in operation — the bridges saw only 18.5 million crossings. Back then, the TBTA had only three bridges in its portfolio: the Triborough Bridge, the Henry Hudson Bridge, and the Marine Parkway Bridge.

The Port Authority, meanwhile, has this year seen the highest number of vehicle crossings on its six spans — including the George Washington Bridge, Holland and Lincoln Tunnels, and the Bayonne and Goethals Bridges and Outerbridge Crossing connecting Staten Island and New Jersey — since at least 2011. Through October, the latest month that data is available, the Port Authority had recorded just over 102 million crossings.

In its 2024 budget proposal, the Port Authority projected its bridges and tunnels would see 122 million crossings next year.

New York City’s Department of Transportation could not immediately provide numbers for its bridges throughout the city, which include major spans like the Brooklyn, Manhattan, Williamsburg, and Queensboro Bridges and hundreds of short crossings all over the five boroughs. Unlike the MTA and Port Authority, the DOT does not collect tolls.

However, DOT did record that the number of vehicles registered in the city grew more than 10% between 2010 and 2021, according to the agency’s Streets Plan update earlier this year. The numbers for 2022 will be published in early 2024.


Octogenarian ebike rider killed by hit and run truck driver



New details have emerged from the investigation into the fatal hit-and-run on Northern Boulevard that killed an electric scooter rider in Flushing on Thursday morning.

The NYPD Highway District’s Collision Investigation Squad has determined that the victim was an 82-year-old man who was traveling eastbound on Northern Boulevard in the left turn lane.

The senior proceeded to turn left onto the westbound lanes of Northern Boulevard at Parsons Boulevard when he was struck by the driver of a red 2015 International tractor-trailer that was traveling eastbound on Northern Boulevard. The truck driver drove away from the scene of the collision westbound on Northern Boulevard, according to investigators

 EMS responded to the location and pronounced the 82-year-old man dead at the scene. The identity of the deceased is pending proper family notification, police said.

 No arrests have been made and the investigation remains ongoing by the NYPD’s Collision Investigation Squad. 

 This is actually a regular folding bike but with a lithium-ion battery cartridge. And it's actually bigger than the bike itself. 


Stupid contractor left hundreds of tenants homeless from building fire Chronicle

The five-alarm fire at a Sunnyside apartment building last Wednesday, Dec. 20, was determined to have been caused by the use of an illegal torch, the FDNY said last Thursday.

Hundreds of people were displaced by the blaze, according to the office of Borough President Donovan Richards; the American Red Cross in Great New York is assisting 242 people across 101 affected households. Thirty-nine of those 101 were being provided with housing through Wednesday, Dec. 27. Though a Richards spokesperson said members of some households in the building, which has 107 units, per Department of Buildings records, have sought shelter elsewhere with friends and family, it is not clear how many more were displaced; a spokesperson for the Office of Emergency Management said the agency only counts apartments, not people. The Red Cross is encouraging any remaining residents to register with the group.

Among those impacted by the blaze was Melissa Orlando, who has lived in the building for 16 years. She told the Chronicle she was getting out of the shower Wednesday when she smelled what she likened to a campfire.

“I looked out the windows to see if I could see if there was something going on outside,” she said. “I didn’t see anything. And I didn’t hear any sirens. So I went into the hallway to see if I could smell any smoke out in the hallway. I didn’t smell anything out in the hallway, and I didn’t see anything going on. So I just kept checking the Citizen app.”

Sure enough, within 10 minutes, Orlando got an alert for a fire in her own building. She and her son grabbed their coats, phones and wallets and left, alerting neighbors on the way.

According to the Fire Department, a contractor was working in a vacant unit on the sixth floor of 43-09 47 Ave. at about 12 p.m. last Wednesday, and was using a torch to heat lead paint off a metal closet door frame. The employee noticed smoke coming from the door frame, so he removed the plaster from around the frame and saw small flames on the wood studs. He attempted to put out the fire using a bucket of water.

Soon after, an FDNY captain with Engine 325 arrived, and was shown the wooden studs. That’s when the captain realized the fire had extended into the building walls, and ordered the contractor to leave. Soon, it spread to the cockloft, the space between the ceiling and the roof, allowing flames to spread from the middle two wings of the building to the outer two, FDNY officials said at a press conference Wednesday afternoon. Within an hour and 15 minutes, the blaze had reached five alarms. After over four and a half hours and 198 firefighters across 44 units responding, the fire was declared under control.

In total, 14 people suffered non-life-threatening injuries; eight of them were civilians, two were police officers and four were firefighters. Six were sent to either Mt. Siani in Astoria or to NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst; four of the 14 refused medical attention.

“Yesterday’s fire in Sunnyside was nothing short of devastating,” Richards wrote in a post on X, formerly Twitter, Thursday afternoon. “Hundreds of residents are facing so much uncertainty, just days before Christmas.”

According to the FDNY, the owner of the contracting company was issued three criminal summonses for the use of an illegal torch and lacking fire guards and a certificate of fitness.

Monday, December 25, 2023

Congestion pricing will break essential workers

NY Post 

The city’s life savers — paramedics and EMTs — are in full panic mode over a controversial plan that will force them to pay a $15 congestion toll just to drive to their jobs in Manhattan.

An emergency worker union president is warning the congestion pricing plan, set to take effect as soon as May, will make hiring EMS workers in the city more difficult and ultimately increase response times in some of the Big Apple’s busiest neighborhoods.

More than 400 ambulance workers are assigned to three FDNY Emergency Service stations south of 60th Street in the congestion pricing district, said Oren Barzilay, president of the Local 2507 union representing paramedics, emergency medical technicians and fire inspectors.

Because of low pay and high housing costs in and around New York City, many EMS employees commute from their homes throughout lower-cost exurbs of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Long Island and the northern New York suburbs — instead of taking less convenient mass transit, he said.

Meanwhile, the unions representing EMS workers are among the few that haven’t secured a new labor contract with Mayor Eric Adams’ administration and EMTs and paramedics are some of the lowest paid among the city’s uniformed forces.

Currently, salaries for EMTs range from $39,386 to $59,534 after five years, while the salaries for medics start at $53,891 and max out at $75,872 after five years. 

Now, they’ll have to pay about $4,000 extra per year to drive to their jobs in the new Manhattan toll district, Barzilay said.

“It’s an insult — a slap in the face,” he fumed.

“I have members who live 100 miles away in places where housing and cost of living is cheaper. They can’t afford to live in the city,” Barzilay said. 

“Our EMS workers are the city’s life savers. They put their hands on people to save their lives. We bring the emergency room to New Yorkers’ homes. We bring people back from the dead every day,” Borzilay said.

“This is what my members get in return — a $15 toll! These aren’t just other drivers coming into the city. They are essential workers.”

He warned city taxpayers will end up suffering most.

“A $15 toll is going to cause a hiring problem of EMS workers for the city. I don’t think response times are going to be good in these neighborhoods in the congestion pricing zone,” Barzilay said. 

“People are having to pay to go to work. They’re supposed to get paid to go to work.”

Three FDNY EMS ambulance stations are located in the congestion zone — at Bellevue hospital, on the Lower East Side and Chelsea. They are among the busiest stations in the city, which cover the Times Square business district and the downtown financial district.


Drink and be merry!


Affordable housing for Christmas

Queens Chronicle

The JFK Hilton will soon be the Baisley Pond Park Residences now that the city closed a deal on Monday to convert the South Jamaica hotel into affordable housing with the help of a nonprofit and a real estate group that focuses on creating multifamily homes.

The cost for the city to partially acquire and develop the property is projected at $167 million. Located at 144-02 135 Ave., the space will be transformed into 318 permanent units for low-income and formerly homeless New Yorkers, according to the office of Mayor Adams.

“Digging our city out of this severe housing shortage will require every tool in our toolbox, and our administration helped win an important fight to add this hotel conversion,” Adams said in a statement. “Advancing this plan ... is a sign that we can think outside of the box and take advantage of the opportunities in front of us. I want to thank our partners in Albany for making it possible to turn empty hotels into affordable homes and our development partners who will deliver on the promise of this idea for hundreds of New Yorkers.”

The development partners, which include the nonprofit RiseBoro Community Partnership and Slate Property Group, a real estate lender and operator primarily focused on the adaptive reuse of property for family housing, acquired the property for $64 million.

MSquared, a women-owned real estate development and impact-investing platform, will also be a part of the project.

“Our city faces an urgent need for quality affordable housing and Baisley Pond Park Residence is a great example of how we can utilize new strategies and funding sources to address this crisis head-on,” said Alicia Glen, founder and managing principal of MSquared, in a statement.

MSquared provided a key $4.4 million predevelopment loan. The city will get $48 million from the state’s new Housing Our Neighbors with Dignity Act program. The remaining capital is being provided through a $50 million senior loan from the city Housing Development Corp., which is being serviced by Chase, and the project is funded with an allocation of 501(c)(3) bonds from HDC.

There will be 192 shelter residents with CityFHEPS vouchers in the homes, according to city Department of Social Services Commissioner Molly Wasow Park.

Aracelia Cook, president of the 149th Street South Ozone Park Civic Association, said she is excited about the prospect of affordable housing in the Southeast Queens area.

“We definitely need more permanent housing,” Cook told the Chronicle. “Instead of just another hotel to be a center for migrants.”

Earlier this year, the hotel was closed permanently and later it was used as a shelter for asylum seekers, prompting a protest.

“We need a more permanent housing solution,” Cook said. “They spoke to us about their vision and we are looking forward to partnering with them.”

Cook said RiseBoro and Slate Property have been talking to members of her civic since April and she is glad to see that the deal is finally done.

The hotel, which is a half-mile from JFK Airport, will have full kitchens, ADA-compliant bathrooms, community rooms, a computer lounge, fitness room and on-site laundry. The landscape architecture firm, OSD, has also designed a stunning indoor/outdoor garden space for residents. Rent will range from $784 for studios to $1,493 for a two-bedroom unit, according to the city.


Saturday, December 23, 2023

Happy Festivus from Queens Crap

Tis the season for airing your grievances. 


Friday, December 22, 2023

"Affordable housing" lottery is open for S%!thole building in Kew Gardens



Applications are open for an “affordable apartment” at 81-07 Kew Gardens Rd.

Rendering courtesy of NYC Connect

It’s pitched as an affordable apartment in Queens, yet the rent for a one-bedroom is $3,140 a month.

NYC Housing Connect has opened a lottery for 16 “affordable apartments” inside a new 8-story, 51-unit development in Kew Gardens.

The building, located at 81-07 Kew Gardens Rd., has been developed by FBL Development, and includes a range of amenities, such as a gym and a rooftop terrace.

The units are designated for residents whose income falls within 130% of the area median income (AMI). The range accommodates potential tenants with incomes spanning from $107,658 to $198,250, depending on family size.

There are 11 one-bedroom apartments on offer through the lottery, which will rent for $3,140 and are available for those with an income ranging from $107,658 to $165,230.

There are also five two-bedroom apartments on offer with a monthly rent of $3,753. They are open to individuals and families with incomes ranging from $128,675 to $198,250.

The apartments are being touted as offering modern conveniences, such as a dishwasher, washers and dryers within the units, and recessed lighting. The kitchen areas are also equipped with appliances and finishes from reputable brands.

Applicants have until Jan. 5, 2024

 Wow,. When I rode by this last month it had 5 stop work orders on it. Guess it got the DMO treatment for the "City of Yes"


Downtown Brooklyn's affordable housing policy failure

 6 Sq Ft.


As the massive Brooklyn megadevelopment once known as Atlantic Yards reaches its 20th anniversary, news of the project’s progress has been scarce. But recent changes affecting the development anchored by Barclays Center may put the 22-acre site–now known as Pacific Park–back in the spotlight. As The Real Deal reported in a wrap-up of its progress over the past two decades, current developer Greenland USA has defaulted on nearly $350 million in loans attached to the project’s second phase. With foreclosure imminent, an auction, scheduled for next month, may mean a new developer will be responsible for fulfilling crucial affordable housing agreements and inherit penalties for unbuilt units.

According to The Real Deal, Greenland USA, part of China’s state-owned Greenland Group, which owns a 95 percent stake in the project, defaulted on loans tied to its remaining six unbuilt sites–more than 3,200 rental apartments. The U.S. Immigration Fund, which had assembled the loans through its foreign investor program, intends to foreclose on the sites, with an auction slated for January 11, 2024.

Launched with much fanfare and controversy in 2003, helmed at the time by developer Forest City Ratner, the (then) $2.5 billion megaproject was to include a new stadium that would be home to the former New Jersey Nets and 15 residential and office buildings, the highlight of which would be a glassy supertall designed by Frank Gehry. At the project’s center, a platform would be built above the MTA’s Atlantic Yards railyard at the nexus of Pacific Street and Atlantic, Carlton, and Vanderbilt Avenues.

At present, nine of the planned 15 buildings have risen. The Gehry tower, dubbed “Miss Brooklyn,” never happened, though the celebrated stadium–and the Nets, which Ratner purchased and later sold to Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov–have become part of Brooklyn’s colorful urban fabric. (The team is now owned by Joe Tsai, chairman of the Chinese multinational technology company Alibaba Group.).

The project has been plagued with challenges from its earliest days. Legal actions taken by residents and property owners displaced by the developers’ eminent domain agreement with the state delayed work for years; a planned modular residential tower hit snags; the 2008 financial crisis dealt another blow, as did the Covid pandemic.

Post-pandemic prices affecting the cost of building the rail yard platform have been an additional challenge. The Real Deal notes Greenland reached a tentative deal with the MTA in August covering the platform’s first phase, consisting of three residential towers.

A recent setback that may significantly affect the project’s next chapter is the expiration in 2022 of the 421a property tax break. Greenland stated that without the tax break, it could not build the new units.

Atlantic Yards Report

Crucially, Empire State Development (ESD), the gubernatorially-controlled state authority that oversees/shepherds Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park, won't comment on what conditions may be attached to the auction of six development sites over the railyard next month

Will the May 2025  affordable housing deadline, with $2,000/month fines for 876 (or 877) remaining units, transfer? Will the bidder(s) also be responsible for building the platform and paying the MTA $11 million a year for development rights?

Those are major expenditures that significantly affect the value of any bid. How can any potential bidder proceed before they know whether and how they assume those obligations.

Could Gov. Kathy Hochul waive those obligations and/or commit public funds? ESD--which has ignored my queries--would only say Hochul is committed to the “successful buildout and completion of this project" and is reviewing it.

To the Real Deal, City Comptroller Brad Lander and Fifth Avenue Committee head Michelle de la Uz expressed concern that ESD would make a deal without public input. Former Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen, a real estate developer herself, believes the penalties should remain. And Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso worries that it would be precedent to renege on other deals.

I'd add that the state has consistently shown an unwillingness to push the developer, so it offered a 25-year deadline on a project long professed to take ten years, and it allow for "affordable housing" to be defined as any units participating in government programs rather than broad spectrum originally promised by original developer Forest City Ratner.

Also note that--unmentioned in the article--both ESD and embattled developer Greenland USA have lost longtime staff working on Atlantic Yards

Friday, December 15, 2023

Cross Bay Bridge is free at last

 Queens Eagle

Queens residents will no longer need to pay the toll on the Cross Bay Veterans Memorial Bridge in Southeast Queens, a major win for locals in the area who often use the bridge to commute and have long complained about the toll’s cost.

Beginning in 2024, residents of Queens who use E-Zpass will get a 100 percent rebate when crossing the bridge, which connects the Rockaway peninsula to Broad Channel and mainland Queens.

The funding comes through a 2018 program called the Outer Borough Transportation Account – which provided additional resources for outer borough transportation improvements – and was heavily pushed by local officials.

“Promises made, promises kept,” said Assemblymember Stacey Pheffer Amato, who has been trying to get the toll changed for locals since she was elected. “After years of hard work and perseverance, my constituents from Lindenwood, Howard Beach, Hamilton Beach and Ozone Park will no longer be penalized. Through the legislation I passed with Senator Addabbo, Queens residents who utilize the New York E-Zpass program and register for the program will get full access to their entire borough, especially the Rockaway Peninsula.”

Crossing the bridge, which gets drivers and pedestrians across Jamaica Bay, is a necessity for some Rockaway locals who need it to get to work in other parts of Queens, Long Island or other parts of the city via the Belt Parkway.

“Finally, the MTA and the governor have listened and are implementing the removal of a barrier to secure economic opportunities for everyone in Queens,” Pheffer Amato said.

Pheffer Amato says that there is a long history of fighting against the toll, one she is happy to bring across the finish line.

“This was always an issue in the community, this unjustified toll,” she said over the phone to the Eagle. “Someone who works at a public school paid an extra over $25 a week to get to their jobs in Queens, through Queens, less than five miles from their home. That to me was the most inequitable part of the toll bridge.”

She said that it took work to figure out the budgeting and the economics, which ultimately led to the usage of the Outer Borough Transportation Account to pick up the tab.

Pheffer Amato’s legislative colleague State Senator Joseph Addabbo called the toll “unfair.”

“This reversal is a monumental victory and an effort that elected officials and residents have been striving to accomplish for decades,” he said. “This achievement will rebate residents for the only intra-borough toll in the city, assist the economic growth and enjoyment of the Rockaway peninsula.”


Primarying Juan Anon

Queens Eagle 

 Assemblymember Juan Ardila will face off against a familiar face in next year’s primary after a third candidate has officially filed to challenge the scandal-plagued lawmaker for his Western Queens seat.

Sunnyside attorney Johanna Carmona, who ran against Ardila in 2022, has officially filed to be a candidate in the 2024 primary for the 37th Assembly District, state election filings show. Carmona is now the third candidate in the race for the district, alongside Ardila and Democratic Socialists of America-backed labor organizer Claire Valdez.

Carmona, who formerly worked with the seat’s previous holder, Cathy Nolan, is likely to receive the backing of the Queens County Democratic Party. Carmona received the support of the party during her first bid for the seat last year.

In 2022, Carmona placed third in voting for AD37, receiving just shy of 20 percent of the vote behind Aridla and Hunters Point civic leader Brent O’Leary.

Carmona was working as a court attorney in Queens Civil Court until last month, when she began working as legislative administrative manager at City Hall.

The Eagle reported in November from multiple sources that Carmona had been discussing a run in recent weeks at political events, including the SOMOS conference in Puerto Rico. Carmona declined to confirm the reports at the time.

Carmona did not comment on the filling Monday night.

Representatives for the Queens County Democratic did not respond to request for comment.

The field against Ardila has grown since sexual assault allegations first surfaced against him in March.

Wednesday, December 13, 2023

The Habitat For Humanity Horror Has A Habitat


 Impunity City

It's a miracle on 126th St.  Looks like Santa Claus came to Queens early and visited The Habitat For Humanity Horror affordable housing grave and dropped a house on this corner after over a year and a half of utter negligence and indifference by the Mayors Office and district elected officials who appeared here celebrating themselves when this "Your Home NYC" program and Mayor Adams "Get Stuff Done" sloganeering campaign started.

Or maybe it was from my intrepid reporting that compelled the Mayors Office and it's (Luxury Public) Housing, Preservation and (Over)Development Department into quickly expediting the development of this new house on this lot that was negligibly forgotten and abandoned by the city and let it turn into a ungodly apocalyptic dump on a residential street corner. To signify what a disgraceful embarrassment this is, this housing went up a month after I posted this on here and "X" and it came at the beginning of Mayor Adams machete austerity budget cuts in every municipality (except DOT but that's another fucked up story).

It also got built right when Rosalyn Carter died, who co-founded Habitat for Humanity with her husband former President Jimmy Carter, so maybe they got a couple of phone calls to get this stuff done to paraphrase New York City's troubled current mayor. Here's the sign where the Habitat for Humanity logo once was, the brand got peeled off after being hung up for hundreds of days in the elements.

Lets look at the layout and "bones" of this affordable home.




MTA plan cuts bus service and calls it frosting



Highlights of Proposed Final Plan

Improved All-Day Frequent Network

  • Queens’ bus improvement plan expands the already widespread existing all-day frequent network. All-day frequency allows riders the freedom to board the bus throughout the day without worrying about a schedule. There are 29 routes that provide 10 minutes or better service from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays.
  • The project expands the reach of the all-day frequent network to 68.9% of the borough, or to an additional 200,000 Queens residents.
  • There are 28 routes that have either increased frequency or expanded hours of operation. Key streets throughout the borough would see frequency increases, including Guy R. Brewer Boulevard, Merrick Boulevard, portions of Northern Boulevard, and Union Turnpike.

More Direct Routing, Faster Travel

  • Rush Routes quickly connect riders between outer borough neighborhoods and denser hub areas, including subway and rail stations or bus terminals (e.g. 165 St Terminal). There are 27 Rush routes that pick-up passengers locally on one end and then have greater stop spacing to improve travel times to the other end of the line, stopping at major transfer points and key destinations.
  • Increased bus stop spacing speeds up buses and improves reliability for customers. Bus stops in the Proposed Final Plan respond to public feedback on the New Draft Plan. 83% of riders will continue to use the same stop that they do today.

Better Connections

  • The redesign fills in gaps in the bus network and establishes new connections with other bus routes, subway lines, the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR), and improves accessibility throughout Queens by connecting to more Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)-accessible subway stations.
  • Improving connections maximizes the opportunity of taking advantage of discounted fare options like the LIRR’s CityTicket, which is a discounted ticket riders can use to travel within city limits for $5 during off-peak hours and $7 for peak hours.
  • New and modified routes expand the reach of the bus network, making it easier for interborough travel. For example:
    • The Q98 proposed route connects Myrtle-Wyckoff Ave (on the Brooklyn-Queens border) and downtown Flushing, Queens via Horace Harding Expressway. The new route complements the existing Q58, and provides connections to the 7LMR subway lines, 9 other bus lines and the LIRR Flushing-Main St station.
    • The QM65 is a new express route connecting Southeast Queens from Laurelton and Rochdale to downtown Manhattan.

Simplified Service

  • As introduced in the New Draft Plan, all Express routes are being standardized to use the “QM” route label, instead of some using “QM” while others use “X.”
  • Route labels for the Local network have been simplified so that customers better understand where their bus is traveling before they board.

 Counterpoint by Commuter Advocates Passengers Unite:


Monday, December 11, 2023

A pedestrian river runs through Conduit

It took the Department Of Transportation Alternatives long enough to do this. Ozone Park residents had to risk their lives and a woman got killed trying to cross this landscape to the Linden Center Mall which opened over a half decade ago. But lets be honest here, this was primarily built so "deliveristas" can cut across on their ebikes and unlicensed motorcycles to make deliveries from Taco Bell.

Saturday, December 9, 2023

Chicken Little Lieber




Tuesday's pro Congestion Pricing Rally, MTA Chairman Janno Lieber said "Imagine if your family member was in an ambulance with their life on the line, idiling in traffic because of congestion" follows up on a previous quote that "fire trucks can't get to fires" reminds me of Chicken Little's "The Sky is Falling". 

 Where is the data in ambulance response time to hospitals and fire trucks to fires for validation of Lieber's statement implying loss of life? Over the top rhetoric like this does nothing to build his credibility with commuters, transit advocates, taxpayers and those who will be paying these proposed new tolls. 

His use of the word goddamned when saying "These are self-styled problems solvers who have never lifted a finger to solve a problem, even when there's a half-finished rail line in their own goddamned district" was offensive to many religious people. He should wash his mouth out with soap ; for using such a profanity. City Hall, Albany and Washington via the Federal Transit Administration already provide significant funding. 

 Why not equal passion in dealing with $600 million in annual lost revenue, over $1 billion in excessive employee overtime and capital project cost overruns as well?; Lieber should try sticking to the facts

 .(Larry Penner is a transportation advocate, historian and writer who previously served as a former Director for the Federal Transit Administration Region 2 New York Office;of Operations and Program Management.  This included the development, review, approval and oversight for billions in capital projects and programs for NJ Transit, New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority, NYC Transit

17 years of Queens Crap

Queens Crap is sexy and seventeen and it's going to get crappier with the City Of Yes doctrine being pushed by our hyper-compromised Mayor of New York City and his confederacy of yes team of deputy mayors and advisors.


Friday, December 8, 2023

Governor Kathy Clown brings the housing crisis circus to the crazy house


A newly unveiled plan for the Creedmoor campus in eastern Queens seeks to bring 2,800 housing units alongside community amenities to the underutilized plot of land. 

The 93-page Creedmoor Community Master Plan, made public by Governor Kathy Hochul on Dec. 6, proposes the revitalization of 48 acres of the 125 acre plot of the state-owned land. Currently 19 of the 25 buildings are sitting vacant. And in the past year, the site began to shelter some of the city’s new migrants in tent structures. 

The plan proposes a grand total of 2,873 housing units – with 1,633 available for ownership and the rest as rentals. It stands to be the largest housing investment in eastern Queens since the construction of Glen Oaks Village in the 1950s and the newest single expansion for homeownership in the area since the North Shore Towers were constructed in the 1970s. 

“Creedmoor represents a once-in-a-generation opportunity for New Yorkers to reimagine state land and plan for the emerging needs of tomorrow,” said Hochul. “Working together in productive partnership with the community — and thanks to the leadership of Queens Borough President Donovan Richards — we can build more housing, create more jobs, and strengthen Eastern Queens for the next generation.”

Over the past year, seven workshops were held to engage the community and hear from stakeholders on what they want to see in the redevelopment. Attendees expressed a strong desire for recreational family-friendly places to gather, such as open outdoors and an accessible town center. They also wanted new housing to give low and middle income households starter home options, as well as designate units for seniors and veterans.

Thursday, December 7, 2023

Eric the Despised




As New York City Mayor Eric Adams nears the end of his second year in office, voters give the mayor a negative 28 - 58 percent job approval rating with 14 percent not offering an opinion, according to a Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pea-ack) University poll of registered voters in New York City released today.

This is the lowest job approval rating for a New York City mayor since Quinnipiac University began polling New York City registered voters in 1996. Before today, the previous low was a negative 31 - 60 percent job approval rating for Mayor Bloomberg in July 2003.

In today's poll, the mayor receives his only positive rating from Black voters who approve of the job he is doing 48 - 38 percent.

Among his own party, Democrats give him a negative 35 - 49 percent job approval rating.

Voters were asked about Mayor Adams' handling of:

  • crime: 33 percent approve, while 60 percent disapprove;
  • the public schools: 31 percent approve, while 53 percent disapprove;
  • the surge of migrants seeking sanctuary in New York City: 26 percent approve, while 66 percent disapprove;
  • the city budget: 22 percent approve, while 66 percent disapprove;
  • homelessness: 22 percent approve, while 72 percent disapprove.

Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Mayor Adams defunds twenty fire engines

The city will pay you to participate in workshops to control rain

Dear Community Leader,
Our city has endured tremendous hardships with the onset of more frequent and intense rainfall
events. In the face of this challenge comes an extraordinary opportunity to rethink its physical
and social infrastructure to reduce the risk from heavy rain while creating benefits for New
Yorkers every day.

The Mayor's Office of Climate & Environmental Justice and the NYC Department of
Environmental Protection, with Rebuild by Design and One Architecture and Urbanism, are
launching an open call for individuals and organizations who have lived or professional
expertise to recommend strategies and policies to address the increasing rainfall in New
York City. This work builds on an initiative launched by Rebuild by Design and One Architecture
to Rainproof NYC, as well as the City's efforts to improve flood resilience, including strategies
outlined in “PlaNYC: Getting Sustainability Done.”

Apply here by December 11 to express interest in joining a working group.

The Rainproof NYC working groups will have 15-20 members, split between NYC agency staff
and community leaders. The working groups will convene regularly from January 2024 to June
2024 and collaboratively propose new, or expand existing, policies, programs, and projects to
increase New York City’s resilience to heavy rainfall.

Each group will focus on the following topic areas. As part of the application, we ask that you
prioritize which group you would like to take part in:

● WORKING GROUP 1: How can we shift NYC’s policies and priorities to create a
comprehensive plan to prepare for increasing rainfall? Address gaps in infrastructure
and risk management to protect from and prepare New Yorkers for more intense

● WORKING GROUP 2: What does an equitable buyout program look like for NYC?
Inform the development of the City's Housing Mobility & Land Acquisition Program
announced in “PlaNYC: Getting Sustainability Done.”

● WORKING GROUP 3: How can we build capacity among communities, the private
sector, and CBO's to share responsibility to address increased heavy rainfall? Every
drop counts. Build out an education and communications campaign to build the
capacities of communities, the private sector, CBO's, local nonprofits, and other
agencies to do their part in managing increasing heavy rainfall.
We strive for diversity in the composition of each group across lived and professional expertise
and across intersectional identities. If you know someone who will bring new and unique
perspectives to these topics, please encourage them to apply too.

If selected, Rebuild will provide non-government members a stipend of $1500 at the end
of the process to support your high-level commitment. For those who cannot commit but
may want to stay involved, there will be various other opportunities to participate in working
towards a Rainproof NYC. We will continue to keep you apprised of those opportunities, even if
you choose not to apply to participate in a working group.

If you believe you have the expertise and availability to participate in a working group,
please APPLY HERE by noon on December 11, 2023. If you are accepted, you will be
invited to an afternoon half-day kickoff meeting that will be held on January 9, 2023 (please
hold your calendar for that date). Selected working group participants will be notified on or
around December 19.

 If you have any questions, email Rifal Imam at

The Rainproof NYC Steering Committee:
Rebuild by Design
The NYC Mayor’s Office of Climate & Environmental Justice
NYC Department of Environmental Protection
The NYC Mayor’s Office of Housing Recovery Operations
One Architecture and Urbanism

Mayor Adams took his 5% austerity machete to cut budgets from schools, libraries and the FDNY for these workshops to pay people to be make believe city planners to "mitigate" water coming from the sky. Workshops are the biggest farces going on in this town.

Thursday, November 30, 2023

MTA announces punitive congestion pricing tolls against drivers

 PIX News 

  A new report from The New York Times has revealed the city’s plan for congestion pricing.

Cars and SUVs would be charged $15 once a day to enter Manhattan below 60th Street. Trucks will be paying $24 or $36 depending on the size.

Motorcyclists will only be paying $7.50, according to the report.

The FDR Drive, West Side Highway and Brooklyn Battery Tunnel will be exempt from congestion pricing. Taxis and rideshares will also be exempt, although a surcharge will be passed on to customers.

Commuters buses will also be exempt, the report said.

Low-income New Yorkers will get half off congestion pricing, according to the report, but only after their first 10 trips every month. If you drive between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m., you’ll get a 75% discount if you’re driving into New York City.

Local lawmakers weighed in on the report Wednesday night, including New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy.

“As a conceptual matter, I support congestion pricing, as long as it is structured in a way that is fair to all sides. This plan is neither fair nor equitable,” he said.

Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ) was also critical of the plan as it was outlined in the report.

“As advertised, New York is officially sticking it to Jersey families with their commuter-crushing Congestion Tax. On top of the existing tolls, it’ll be 15 bucks every day to go into the city with no discounts at the GW Bridge — thousands of dollars a year just to drive to work,” he said.

The Traffic Mobility Review Board, the advisory panel that wrote the report, told The New York Times that the plan is a “huge step forward.”

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

The CIty Of Yes will pay big money for more little housing

Efectos especiales

 NY Post

The City of New York is getting behind the tiny-house movement big time.

In an effort to create more affordable housing, a few lucky borough homeowners will be granted hundreds of thousands of dollars to construct accessory dwelling units, or ADUs, on their properties.

Last Tuesday, the New York City Department of Housing Preservation & Development announced the launch of its Plus One ADU pilot program, which will fund the creation of additional living space for growing and multigenerational families. 

The program will provide up to $395,000 in financing to a maximum of 15 single-family landlords so they can build ADUs “such as backyard cottages, garage studios, attached in-law suites, basement apartments, and attic space conversions” on their land, according to a press release.

By helping existing residents expand their square footage, the city hopes to help seniors “spend their retirement years in their chosen neighborhood,” enable in-laws to move in with young families, make space for children returning from college and otherwise help ease the current real estate crisis without “significantly changing existing neighborhoods.” 

Other program targets include “seniors who need space for a caregiver, a multigenerational household who want separate living spaces, or young parents with a little one on the way,” Mayor Eric Adams added in the release. 

The money for the program comes from a $2.6 million state grant for “crafting community-centered solutions to encourage low- and middle-income homeowners to create or upgrade good quality, safe accessory dwelling units.” The city plans to put in almost as much of its own money, the state’s Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas explained. 

“ADUs financed through the program will become safe, habitable and potentially rent-restricted units that will help homeowners generate additional income and support long-term homeowner and neighborhood stability,” the press release noted.

Monday, November 27, 2023

Casinos of Yes


 NY Daily News

The Department of City Planning on Monday introduced a measure that it says would cut red tape for casino applications in the Big Apple — but which would ice out community boards, critics say.

The measure, which was quietly filed by the department on Friday, comes as big-name developers are vying for one of three coveted downstate casino licenses from the state.

The action, formally known as a zoning text amendment, was billed as a way of streamlining city and state processes by City Planning Commissioner Dan Garodnick during a Monday meeting.

“What we are proposing will create an even playing field for these facilities as they make their case for the economic benefits they aim to bring to New York City,” he said. “We are trying to set up a process here which just enables the conversation to happen in an organized way.”

The state decides who gets approved for a license. On the local level, the city’s existing land review procedures are inadequate for new casinos, putting New York at a “competitive disadvantage,” Garodnick and City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams said in October.

The text amendment would streamline review and allow for state-approved casinos to be developed “without any potential conflicts with zoning” or “unnecessarily duplicating” the state’s lengthy licensing process, Garodnick said.

Two of the downstate licenses are expected to go to existing “racinos” in Yonkers and South Ozone, Queens, but there is stiff competition in New York City for the remaining slot.

Aside from the Queens racino, City Planning confirmed eight contenders across the boroughs: five in Midtown Manhattan, one in the Bronx at Ferry Point, one in Queens from Mets owner Steve Cohen and one in Brooklyn by Coney Island.

 The proposed Coney Island Brooklyn casino resort called The Coney.

The new zoning measure would mean the individual applicants would not have to go through the city’s sluggish land use process, which can be used as leverage by community members and lawmakers to secure certain commitments from developers.

A committee consisting of the governor, mayor and local electeds will be created to view each gaming facility application based on the site’s location. The Community Advisory Committees, as they’re known, will have to hold public meetings but — unlike the city’s land use mechanism, known as ULURP — will not include a representative of the local community board.

Former Buildings Commissioner Charles Moerdler described the move as an “outrage” that would curtail local input.

“The concept of depriving the community and people of an opportunity to be heard … is anathema to a democracy,” Moerdler told the Daily News. “It is a stupid idea dreamed up by people who have no interest in the public or the community.”

A community board leader in Midtown Manhattan, where locals have expressed opposition to a casino, said she has heard concerns from several stakeholders about the text amendment.

“The current version of the text is too thin on specifics and details and does not really address the environmental impacts the casino would have,” said Layla Law-Gisiko, chair of CB 5’s Land Use Committee, criticizing the “blanket, one-size-fits-all” approach as opposed to the site-specific method of ULURP.

“Currently, the text really is too anemic to provide any guidance on what a casino should look like.”

Planning commission members were critical of part of the text that would allow developers to include related establishments such as hotels, restaurants, bars and “other amenities” like theaters in the approval process.


Hellscape High

NY Post

Hundreds of “radicalized” kids rampaged through the halls of a Queens high school this week for nearly two hours after they discovered a teacher had attended a pro-Israel rally — forcing the terrified educator to hide in a locked office as the teen mob tried to push its way into her classroom, The Post has learned.

The mayhem at Hillcrest High School in Jamaica unfolded shortly after 11 a.m. Monday in what students called a pre-planned protest over the teacher’s Facebook profile photo showing her at a pro-Israel rally on Queens Oct. 9 holding a poster saying, “I stand with Israel.”

“The teacher was seen holding a sign of Israel, like supporting it,” a senior told The Post this week.

“A bunch of kids decided to make a group chat, expose her, talk about it, and then talk about starting a riot.”

Hundreds of kids flooded into hallways and ran amok, chanting, jumping, shouting, and waving Palestinian flags or banners. 

Many tried to barge into the teacher’s classroom despite school staffers blocking their entry.

“Everyone was yelling ‘Free Palestine!’” a senior said.

“Everyone was screaming ‘(The teacher) needs to go!’” a ninth-grader said. 

NY Post

Four students were arrested for allegedly assaulting school safety agents who were trying to break up a fight inside Hillcrest High School less than a week before a mob of kids rampaged through the halls of the Queens school over a teacher attending a pro-Israel rally.  

Shocking video that captured part of the harrowing attack on one NYPD officer was posted to social media Sunday night and later verified by the NYPD.

The brawl broke out around noon Nov. 15 when three students were fighting two other students.

School safety agents attempted to break up the fight but became the target of several blows themselves, police said.

In total, three NYPD school officers were injured as they tried to separate the students during the melee, cops said.

Four of the students, two 15-year-old boys and two 16-year-old boys, were arrested and issued juvenile reports, according to the NYPD.

The department gives out juvenile reports in lieu of a misdemeanor or felony charge when the suspects are young minors.

Footage of the incident shared by Queens Councilwoman Vickie Paladino on X shows a student in a gray sweatshirt appearing to spin away from a cop, out of her grip, and then charge at another student who is quickly blocked by a second uniformed officer.

Hundreds of kids flooded into hallways and ran amok, chanting, jumping, shouting, and waving Palestinian flags or banners. 

Many tried to barge into the teacher’s classroom despite school staffers blocking their entry.

“Everyone was yelling ‘Free Palestine!’” a senior said.

“Everyone was screaming ‘(The teacher) needs to go!’” a ninth-grader said. 



Friday, November 24, 2023

Wrestlemania in Howard Beach

Pandemonium with a purpose at OLG 2 

Queens Chronicle

 The Our Lady of Grace School auditorium in Howard Beach transformed into a willful wrestling ring last Saturday, with around 200 enthusiastic residents eagerly attending to witness East Coast Professional Wrestling. It was more than just body slams — it was pandemonium with a purpose, as proceeds were donated to the church.


This guy is my favorite. He looks like Cardinal Dolan as the Penguin.


Monday, November 20, 2023

Schools, out, of, money


NY Daily News 

Cuts to the city’s education budget will be deeply felt in public preschool and summer programs, as well as so-called “community schools” that provide extra services to families beyond what a typical school can offer, Mayor Adams’ administration said Thursday.

The revised plan would shave $547 million off the Education Department’s overall budget this school year — a figure that will grow to $602 million in the 2024-2025 school year and even more in the 2025-2026 year, budget documents show.

“It is about to get really tough,” Schools Chancellor David Banks warned a parent-led education council on Staten Island last week. “The city is in a bad financial situation, the mayor’s been saying. I don’t know if people fully appreciate it.”

Public schools were already headed toward fiscal woe before Adams announced cuts he blamed on the city’s growing cost of housing and caring for migrants.

Many of the educational programs to be trimmed have been buoyed in recent years by federal stimulus. With the end of the pandemic, those funds are set to expire in less than a year — and the city has lacked a plan to save them.

“That money is going away. It’s almost done,” Banks said.

Some $120 million will be saved annually by eliminating thousands of the 37,000 unfilled slots in public preschool programs, which city officials say has been underused by parents and children. Mayor Adams’ staff did not say how many of those seats were on the chopping block, but that decisions would be made with education officials over the coming year.

The Adams administration is also cutting $18 million from community schools over the next two years. Community schools partner with local organizations to provide services not only to students, but their whole families. While kids receive healthcare and mental health counseling, parents can take adult education classes and other services.

Friday, November 17, 2023

Caption Borough President Richards 

Makes Mike Dukakis look like General Patton



NY Post 

The NYPD’s force will be reduced to just 29,000 cops by the end of fiscal year 2025 — the lowest level since the mid-90s — amid a slew of city-wide budget cuts revealed by Mayor Eric Adams Thursday as the Big Apple grapples with its multi-billion-dollar migrant crisis.

Under City Hall’s newly unveiled updated 2024 financial plan, the next five police academy classes will be axed — essentially decimating an already strained department as roughly 4,500 officers are expected to leave their ranks within the next 18 months.

Firefighters are also in the firing line with FDNY members who are on “long-term light duties” — meaning they’ve been injured on the job or are out sick — being forced into early retirement or fired under the plan.

“The defund the police crowd’s woke dream has come true. We were fed a line of BS that the wave of migrants would be a benefit to the city. Now we are defunding the police to pay for their beds,” Council Republican Minority Leader, Joe Borelli, raged.

President of the FDNY’s union Andrew Ansbro, too, slammed the sweeping budget reductions, arguing the Adams administration “should have taken a different approach with the life-saving agencies like the FDNY and NYPD, which could really affect safety in New York City.”

“Our job being dangerous, we have lot of members who getting physical injured … now they are being pushed out the door to early retirement when they have a lot to offer. They are cutting back on people who really help the safety of FDNY and residents of New York City,” he added.

In total, the NYPD’s budget of $5.6 billion will cut by $132 million next fiscal year with the axing of new academy classes over the next year and a half clawing back roughly $42 million.

Hizzoner’s push to shrink the department comes despite the centerpiece of his 2021 mayoral campaign being the need to bolster public safety. The NYPD’s staffing levels last fell below 29,000 back in 1993, according to city records.