I was invited to ride along with the Transportation Alternatives Queens Volunteer Committee’s social ride on Sunday, which ended up carrying me all over the western edge of a Long Island. The meetup spot was at the Jackson Heights Roosevelt stop on the 7/E/R/M, so I left Astoria and travelled via the R train. The trip played out over several hours, criss-crossed from Queens into Brooklyn and then back again, and I was capturing images the whole way. Want to see where we went?
More after the jump…
The Manhattan bound platforms at Jackson Heights were packed, as the 7 train was out due to repairs and maintenance. This is 9:30 or so on a Sunday morning, mind you, not a weekday rush hour crowd.
We found ourselves on this Manhattan bound platform, where we caught the E, and took it to the Court Square stop. So far – I had ridden the R, and E lines.
The Transportation Alternatives Queens Volunteer Committee was founded in 2007. The goal of this volunteer effort is to seize on the recent surge in bicycling, street redesign and new park space to improve bicycling, walking and public transit conditions in Queens. The Committee hosts numerous rides and walks, and is a presence at tabling, bike valet and other outreach opportunities around the borough.
At Court Square, we transferred to the G line and headed into Brooklyn.
R, E, and G lines.
The G carried us to Red Hook and the Smith/9th Street station. That’s where we transferred to the F.
The F was ridden to the Coney Island/Stillwell Avenue stop.
R, E, G, and F lines.
Like the warriors, we debarked at Coney Island and explored a little bit.
The beach at Coney Island was still quite wintry in appearance.
Given that yesterday was the first warmish day in months, we weren’t the only people at the beach, however.
The trip itinerary called for us to get back on the train, but it would have been a crime not to stop off and get a surprisingly expensive hot dog at Nathan’s.
We boarded the Manhattan bound N at Stillwell Avenue.
R, E, G, F, and N lines.
At Avenue U, we transferred to a Manhattan bound Q.
R, E, G, F, N, and Q lines.
The Q carried us to the Franklin Avenue Shuttle.
R, E, G, F, N, Q, and Franklin Avenue Shuttle lines.
A short hop, the Franklin Avenue Shuttle was one of the three MTA lines we rode on Sunday that never, ever, enters Manhattan.
Here’s the Committee members, whom I corralled into a group shot at Franklin Avenue.
Founded in 2005, the Queens Activist Committee splits their activism between building safer streets in the borough and growing bicycling among Queens residents by curating fun, local bike tours in Queens. In recent years, these intrepid activists have shepherded in several big improvements to the borough’s bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure, including new bike lanes on Vernon Boulevard, Skillman Avenue and 43 Avenue. They helped organize the first-ever Queens Bike Forum in 2012, drawing a visionary blueprint for new bike lanes throughout the borough. The most dramatic change the Queens Activist Committee has wrought is seen by every person coming into Queens: a protected, safe approach to and from the Queensboro Bridge, with off-street, greenway-style bike lanes on Queens Plaza North and traffic calming at Columbus Triangle. They are also the proud hosts of the Tour de Queens, a family-friendly 19-mile sightseeing tour of Queens neighborhoods.
The shuttle allowed us to connect with the C.
R, E, G, F, N, Q, Franklin Avenue Shuttle, and C lines.
At Euclid Avenue, the C allowed a connection with a Rockaway bound A train.
R, E, G, F, N, Q, Franklin Avenue Shuttle, C, and A lines.
The A took us to Broad Channel, where a connection with the Rockaway Shuttle is possible.
R, E, G, F, N, Q, Franklin Avenue Shuttle, C, A, and Rockaway Shuttle lines.
The Rockaway Shuttle carried us to B116, where we were able to access the beach. A few pints of beer were required after all of this travel, and I can recommend a bar called “Roger’s” on B116, right across the street from the train station as being friendly and quite affordable.
Exhausted, as we had been commuting constantly since 10 am, I opted for a fairly direct route to return to the north western side of Queens where my beloved Astoria is found, and the Q53 limited bus carried me back to the starting point at Jackson Heights/Roosevelt.
So, that’s the R, E, G, F, N, Q, Franklin Avenue Shuttle, C, A, and Rockaway Shuttle subway lines, and the Q53 bus for you Queensicans.
Check out the Transportation Alternatives Queens Volunteer Committee Facebook page for future events (there’s several in the works). Really nice group of people, chatting with them on this trip was quite educational. They were extremely generous with their extensive knowledge of the Subway system, and quite convivial.
Newtown Creek Alliance Historian Mitch Waxman lives in Astoria and blogs at Newtown Pentacle.