MTA Will Fund New Elmhurst LIRR Station

By Yvette Brown

Originally published in the Queens Tribune on January 14, 2016

The Long Island Rail Road is coming back to Elmhurst in the near future to help local residents get to and from the city in a more convenient way.

The reopening of the Elmhurst LIRR station, located on Broadway between Cornish and Whitney avenues, has been a goal of U.S. Reps. Joe Crowley (D-Queens), Grace Meng (D-Flushing) and Councilman Daniel Dromm (D-Jackson Heights) since 2012. The station was shut down in 1985 because of the lack of usage.

The site of the former, and perhaps future, Elmhurst LIRR Station on Broadway in Elmhurst. File Photo courtesy of the Queens Tribune.

The elected officials had written letters to the LIRR president, held walk-throughs and conducted a ridership survey to get the process moving along, and it appears to have worked.

The Metropolitan Transit Authority’s 2015-2019 Capital Program, which includes $40 million and reconstructing the Elmhurst LIRR station, was approved in November 2015.

The first letter to the NYS Department of Transportation Commissioner and MTA Capital Program Review Board Chair Joan McDonald was to discuss the reopening and speak about how vitally important it is to ensure greater transportation options in the area. Crowley and Dromm initially wanted to reopen the LIRR station in January of 2012, which they both explained would not only create improved access to Midtown Manhattan, but also help create jobs in Elmhurst as well. Both elected officials led a walking tour of the site with officials from MTA to further explore the possibility of reopening the station in March of 2012. This was followed by a town hall with residents about a month later to discuss transportation issues within the community.

According to the 2010 Census, “Elmhurst is home to one of the most diverse populations in the country, a trend that will likely continue in the near future as the community continues to grow.”

The ridership survey was then conducted in June of 2013. There were two components of the survey, a written version and the other was in person with sites located at nearby subway stations and areas surrounding Elmhurst Hospital Center. Both of them contained questions about what means of transportation residents use at the time, their travel frequency, their mode of choice and how they might avail themselves of LIRR service.

“This survey will be very important in helping us determine if there is sufficient demand in the Elmhurst community to consider reopening the station,” said Helena Williams, LIRR President, during the time of the ridership survey. “We urge residents to take a few minutes to fill it out. There are many issues that need to be carefully evaluated as part of this process but this is an important first step.”

Following the ridership survey came the funding. Crowley, Meng and Dromm released a statement following the release of the MTA’s Capital Program.

“Restoring LIRR service to Elmhurst will help a burgeoning neighborhood reach its full economic potential and become a destination for all New Yorkers,” said Crowley, Meng and Dromm. “We are thrilled to learn the MTA agrees that investing in this community is a win-win and that they have included critical funding to rebuild the station in their recently proposed capital budget. For years, Elmhurst residents have called for greater transportation options and we are now one step closer to turning this idea into a reality. We will continue to work with MTA officials to ensure this project remains a top priority and look forward to the day when Elmhurst will be the next stop for millions of New Yorkers.”

“We have budgeted $30.5 million for the design and construction of a new LIRR station at Elmhurst,” said Aaron Donovan, spokesperson for the MTA. “It would include two new 12-car-long platforms along with staircases, platform railings, platform shelters, ticket vending machines, as well as lighting, communication and security systems. The station will be fully compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, with elevators. The funding includes environmental review, design and construction.”

“For Elmhurst, one of Queens’ most vibrant and fastest-growing communities, the reopening of its LIRR station will be transformational,” said Crowley. “I applaud the MTA Board for approving the project as part of its 2015-19 capital program and I thank both Congresswoman Grace Meng and Council Member Daniel Dromm for their roles in helping to make this a reality. After years of advocating for this new station, the MTA Board approval means we are yet one step closer to not only ensuring local residents have the transportation options they deserve but also making sure Elmhurst lives up to its full economic potential.”

Read more here.

Queens Gazette: Dromm Honored By Korean Dry Cleaners Association

The Korean Dry Cleaners Association of New York honored Councilmember Daniel Dromm (D-Jackson Heights, Elmhurst) at their recent gala, which was held at Dae Dong Manor in Flushing.

“I thank the Korean Dry Cleaners Association of New York for honoring me at this year’s gala,” said Dromm. “It has been a pleasure to work with the Korean Dry Cleaners Association on many different projects. Particularly pleasing were the workshops on which we collaborated and the collection of coats for the less fortunate. I look forward to working with the Korean Dry Cleaners Association again in the future.”

The Korean Dry Cleaners Association has a long history of advocating on behalf of hundreds of Korean dry cleaning establishments throughout the City of New York. Since 1978, the Korean Dry Cleaners Association has fostered the establishment and growth of small businesses throughout our city. They have assisted these small businesses in every aspect of operating in New York City, ensuring that immigrant entrepreneurs understand and comply with local laws, obtain financing and operate successfully.

Each year since 1989, the Korean Dry Cleaners Association donates thousands of clothing items to New Yorkers in need. Dromm was proud to partner with the association to collect coats for families in need, many of whom reside in the immigrant-rich neighborhoods of Elmhurst and Jackson Heights that make up the council member’s City Council District.  Not long ago, their charitable work reached far beyond the borders of New York City in their massive effort to aid the victims of the catastrophic earthquake in Haiti.

read more: http://www.qgazette.com/news/2014-01-29/Features/Dromm_Honored_By_Korean_Dry_Cleaners_Association.html

BanglaNews: Dromm Speaks at Career Development Awards Ceremony

A certificate awarding ceremony of QuickBooks and Career Development training was held at Elmhurst Hospital in New York on Saturday.

The training program was organized by Center for Human Development (CHD-BD) and coordinated as well as conducted by CHD-BD President Monzur Choudhury, also Comptroller of Dominican Province of Saint Joseph-a charitable organization.

In the Certificate ceremony special guest was Daniel Dromm, the local council member.  Badal Hasib (Director of Communication) welcomed all the participants on behalf of the CHD-BD team and introduced Mr. Daniel Dromm to the participants.

In the opening speech Monzur Chowdhury thanked Daniel Dromm for his effortless contribution towards improving the lives of the South Asian Community in Jackson Heights. He also wholeheartedly thanked Mr. Dromm to facilitate the training at Elmhurst Hospital.

Daniel Dromm, in his speech, emphasized the importance of learning and grooming up oneself.

He also said that he has been working hard to improve the lives of South Asian community and their rights. He is working with his party to provide voting rights to the immigrants and requested the participants to come forward and help him achieve his goals for the community.

He added that after his term is over, he likes to see a Bangladeshi person taking up his position as the council man, who will take forward his unfinished works.

He concluded his speech by thanking Bangladeshi community for all their selfless support and selecting him as a council member and time and again reassured all the support from his part.

Read more: http://www.banglanews24.com/English/detailsnews.php?nssl=a39a4a7d0196e95af83a6f136ae97a39&nttl=0912201382712

 

StreetsBlog: Ped Plazas in Low-Income Neighborhoods Get $800,000 Boost From Chase

Under cloudy skies this morning at Corona Plaza, elected officials and community members gathered to announce an $800,000 contribution from the JPMorgan Chase Foundation to help fund the upkeep of pedestrian plazas in low-income communities. The funds are going to the Neighborhood Plaza Partnership (NPP), a program of the Horticultural Society of New York that works with merchant associations and non-profits to maintain plazas in neighborhoods including Corona, Jackson Heights, East New York, and Ridgewood.

Noting that JPMorgan Chase chairman Jamie Dimon grew up in Jackson Heights, Dromm said creating plaza space in all of the city’s neighborhoods is a social justice and economic justice issue. “Our communities deserve to have plazas just as much as the communities where there are large corporate sponsors,” he said. Dromm’s staff is already working with merchants around Diversity Plaza to raise money. ”We need to add to the $800,000 for each of the plazas,” he said. “We want people to literally get to buy in to this program.”

Read more: http://www.streetsblog.org/2013/11/26/800000-from-chase-to-help-maintain-up-to-20-plazas-over-two-years/

Streetsblog: Dromm is Elected Official of the Year

Council Member Danny Dromm is our Elected Official of the Year. Note the matching purple accents in the Dromm/Eckerson attire.

Council Member Danny Dromm, stalwart proponent of play streetsplazas, and smarter surface transportation in Jackson Heights, received our award for Elected Official of the Year. And Community Board 16 Chair Bettie Kollock-Wallace accepted the Neighborhood Activism award for her indispensable advocacy, which brought Brownsville’s first bike lanes to fruition.

read more: http://www.streetsblog.org/2013/10/18/scenes-from-last-nights-streets-ball-and-a-big-thank-you/

DNAinfo: Diversity Plaza to Get More Seating and Improved Lighting

Councilman Dromm and the DOT will contribute a combined $2.5 million to improve the plaza. photo: Veronica C./Foursquare

By Katie Honan

JACKSON HEIGHTS — A local pedestrian plaza will be getting more seats, better lighting and maps — and the community will have the chance to vote on even more improvements — thanks to funding from the area’s councilman and the city.

City Councilman Daniel Dromm announced plans to allocate $500,000 from his discretionary funds to pay for improvements to Diversity Plaza, which is on 37th Road between 73rd and 74th streets in Jackson Heights.

The plaza will receive additional seating, improved lighting and community maps with directions to the plaza once it becomes permanent, he said.

“These improvements will go a long way to build out an asset that our community has come to adopt as a town square,” Dromm said.

In addition to the funds from Dromm’s office, the Department of Transportation has earmarked $2 million to make even more changes to the plaza — changes which residents will be able to discuss and vote on at a meeting later this fall.

The money could go towards things like an improved street structure and a public pay toilet, the councilman said.

“Diversity Plaza is a result of tremendous community effort, from the intensive transportation planning sessions that developed it, to the efforts of the local merchants and civic groups that are now sustaining it,” said Andy Wiley-Schwartz, an assistant commissioner at the DOT.

The street was closed and turned into a pedestrian plaza in 2011. It is currently in its temporary design phase, but the additional money will help transition it into a permanent space.

http://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20131014/jackson-heights/diversity-plaza-get-more-seating-improved-lighting

 

Ny1: Touring Daniel Dromm’s District

NY1 VIDEO: The Road to City Hall’s Errol Louis visited City Councilman Daniel Dromm’s 25th city council district in Queens.