• September 4, 2015
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Queens Chronicle

Columns

Community must make their voices heard on SBS

By now, most of us have seen the “Bus Lane” recently painted on Woodhaven Boulevard. While this new bus lane is not part of the recently proposed Select Bus Service project, it is part of the approved Bus Rapid Transit and the Congested Corri…

Tech helps the disabled, like me, be more independent
Updated: August 13, 2015 - 12:11 pm

I was only 17 years old when I was diagnosed with a degenerative eye condition. I remember my doctor telling me, “You’d better get used to staying at home at night.” His words left me scared and speechless.

When I turned 30 years old, I lost most of my usable vision and the world no longer seemed like such a friendly place. The fear I felt over the years of not being able to see was now coupled with the fear of losing my independence.

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Where’s the proof SBS will work on Woodhaven?
Updated: August 06, 2015 - 12:39 pm

State Sen. James Sanders Jr. and Paul Samuelson used the same generalities in their op-ed last week, “Bus rapid transit: just what Woodhaven needs,” to support BRT, also called Select Bus Service, as the city Department of Transportation while offering no specifics, merely claiming it has worked in other cities.

Has SBS worked in New York? We still do not know because other than a few first-year progress reports several years ago showing ridership increases and quicker bus trips, no recent data has been shared. In fact, except for a few routes, ridership has not only declined on SBS routes between 2013 and 2014, they are also more expensive to operate, each costing an additional several million dollars a year. The B44 SBS and M60 SBS are both well over a year old, but neither route has had a first-year assessment because of ridership decreases.

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Bus Rapid Transit: just what Woodhaven needs
Updated: August 06, 2015 - 12:01 pm

When Mayor de Blasio laid out his vision for New York City in his State of the City address earlier this year, he described his plan to make the city more equitable with greater affordable housing options for residents. He rightly mentioned the essential role that transportation plays in this plan. Transportation in our city holds the promise of providing greater opportunity and mobility for more New Yorkers — or, when it is insufficient, it perpetuates inequality, especially in the outer boroughs.

Building new subway lines is impractical, extraordinarily expensive, and for all intents and purposes not feasible. Bus Rapid Transit, however, is a solution that can ensure that more New Yorkers have world-class transportation and the opportunity for a better quality of life.

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Department of Homeless Services lacks integrity
Updated: August 06, 2015 - 12:01 pm

As a civilized society, we can agree with Department of Homeless Services Commissioner Gilbert Taylor’s opinion that we all have a duty to help the less fortunate who are struggling to rebuild their lives. (“The homeless need our help and compassion,” Opinion, July 16, multiple editions)

We would like to again reiterate that the residents of Queens and Elmhurst United are not opposed to assisting the homeless.

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Thursday 07/16/2015
Why I, a Queens rabbi, support police reform
Updated: July 17, 2015 - 10:13 am

“Racism is man’s gravest threat to man.” Those were the lasting words of Abraham Joshua Heschel, the esteemed rabbi and civil rights activist who marched arm-in-arm with the Rev. Martin Luther King on the front lines in Selma. As much as I am inspired by his speech, I, as a Jewish leader in Queens, am even more inspired and motivated by the actions he took. He modeled for us all what it means to not stand idly by while others suffer.

Events of the past year have made me more aware than ever of the systematic racism that men and women of color experience at the hands of policing institutions all over the country. I worry we’re going backwards as a nation, not forwards.

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The homeless need our help and compassion
Updated: July 17, 2015 - 10:13 am

They’re your friends, your neighbors, your co-workers, your fellow New Yorkers. Contrary to popular belief, the New York City homeless population is made up of individuals, like you and me, who have simply been disproportionately impacted by factors like domestic violence, income inequality and a lack of affordable housing. Despite tough times, they remain hopeful and look to get back on their feet and be on their journey home. And they need your help to do it.

Homelessness is a citywide issue that leaves no community or borough untouched. Approximately 46 percent of New Yorkers live near poverty and approximately 22 percent live below the poverty line. This stark reality, combined with the drivers of homelessness, manifests itself in the city’s shel

ter system with a current census of approximately 55,800 individuals, including about 22,800 children. But over the last year we have made significant strides at the Department of Homeless Services to fundamentally reform how our agency operates. The creation of our 2015-17 Operational Plan has given the agency a clear framework on how to achieve our vision of reducing homelessness and improving lives.

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