No More Buildings

 No More Buildings

By Beth Hanning

So, Monday, April 15, 2024 was the deadline to submit complaints for the ALMA Realty issue of adding buildings to their complex. Why do the powers that be think we need more buildings?

Over the years when I teach vocabulary, when we do the word infrastructure, which means the basic physical and organizational structures and facilities (e.g., buildings, roads, power supplies) needed for the operation of a society or enterprise, I then ask the students what do you think of our local infrastructure? They all agree that we do not have adequate infrastructure.

As you may know, I have lived in the Rockaway area all of my life except for one year. I cannot remember the traffic ever being as bad as this. Some days, I cannot get out of my driveway on Newport Avenue and Beach 120th due to the traffic being backed up from the light at Beach 116th! How can we make most of the roads and avenues that used to be two lanes, now one lane and then add more buildings and houses? Have we added schools since all of the buildings have gone up? One of our local hospitals closed in 2012 and the one hospital left is overcrowded and does not even have proper facilities. Two recent shootings, one of a police officer and one of a high school student, both had to be transported to Jamaica Hospital which is about 40 minutes away! We should have a trauma center closer! But no, instead of improving facilities, we just keep adding buildings. If you have not travelled through Far Rockaway lately, you should take a drive and see the monstrosities being built on the old hospital site and another behemoth on Beach 35th Street.

Another issue is parking. We have one municipal lot for an entire peninsula. I told Assemblywoman Pheffer Amato that was one of our biggest issues when she took over. Maybe the city can build parking lots and/or a multi-level parking garage.

To get back to ALMA Realty, they are the property managers of the Surfside Buildings. I am sure you know the tenants there do not pay cheap rent and they are often without basic amenities. I had a friend who wore gloves in her apartment because of the lack of heat! I have a niece who had to call 311 to get a new apartment due to the mold in the apartment. She had to call 311 because ALMA did not rectify the situation.

As a community, we have to start attending Community Board meetings, emailing our local politicians and becoming active regarding our civic duties.

I hope that the people at the planning office take our concerns seriously. We cannot have another set of buildings being built until our infrastructure is improved. And we cannot allow ALMA Realty to build more buildings until they can handle the buildings already under their management!

Have a good week everyone! Happy Passover to all who celebrate!

Email me with your thought about this: I think this is the one thing we can all agree is a horrible thing for Rockaway!

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