Image source: Times Ledger
There’s been talk again about getting rid of tolls on the Cross Bay-Veterans Memorial Bridge. This is the bridge that connects the Rockaway peninsula to the rest of the city. State Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder (D-Ozone Park) introduced legislation in the Assembly to abolish the toll, someone his predecessor, Audrey Pheffer (“We will never give up.”) was also passionate about.
Part of the reasoning for this is that to access basic needs – gas, drug store, church, bank, doctor’s office, post office – it requires using the toll bridge. Some feel that this is detrimental to Rockaways’ growth – State Senator Joseph Addabbo (D-Howard Beach) said the toll “slows the advancement of the peninsula.” Also, new businesses are essentially scared away by the toll. And with the hardships endured by locals after Hurricane Sandy, lifting the toll would give them a break.
And if they can’t completely nix it, Senator Addabbo is open to having it lifted during certain parts of the year. He says, “Short of eliminating it completely, the least the MTA could do is give us a break. The MTA wants summer money, fine, but give us a break between Labor Day and Memorial Day.”