Doug Bay Manor Civic Association President Ann Jawin sent a letter to Douglaston Patch this afternoon in response to a post with details on the opening of the green market on July 10.
Here is the letter:
At the meeting of the Douglaston Civic Association held on June 8th, both [civic] president Eliott Socci and state Sen. Tony Avella showed sympathy and understanding for the concerns expressed by the members of the adjacent Doug Bay community to the proposed green market.
We believe that the issue of parking, safety, health and ridership affect the entire community of Douglaston and not just the residents adjacent to the Long Island Rail Road. Accordingly, we requested that the matter be put on the agenda for the DCA. We also believe that the general public in the area lacks complete information, which resulted in the favorable vote by Community Board 11 last month.
I, Ann Jawin, as Chair of the Doug Bay Manor Civic Association, was only allowed three minutes to present our reasons for objections - not to the green market, but to the location. The most important point that I wanted to make, which I feel would solve the whole problem, was my suggestion that the best location for the green market would be in the parking lot of St. Anastasia’s Church.
We have stated our very serious objections concerning health and safety to the turnaround at the north side of the LIRR and written to the following authorities with either no answer or very poor responses: The MTA, the Department of Transportation, the New York City Office of Street Permits and the Mayor’s Community Assistance Unit.
The answer from the Dept. of Transportation’s Queens commissioner, Maura McCarthy, is muddled and contradictory. In saying that [the agency] has no objections to the market at this location, she states: “This market would not preclude emergency vehicles from entering or exiting the area. The roadway is wide enough to be navigated safely by any size vehicles without accessing this turnaround. Unless there is an emergency at this intersection, this turnaround will be of no value.”
She goes on to say, “The number of commuters utilizing this area is much less on Sundays, and the discharge and pickup of passengers will have to take place at another location during the hours that the farmers market will be in effect.”
This answer ignores the idea that emergencies are what we are concerned with and the idea of residents having to find alternate means of accessing the railroad made our Doug Bay residents decide to ask the Douglaston Civic Association to take up the issue.
These factors affect all residents of Douglaston and not only those adjacent to the turnaround. In addition, we contacted the fire station in our area. Paul Capobella stated that in addition to train track fires, flooding, emergency breakdowns and swamp fires, their Medical Assistance Unit is frequently called upon to aid evacuation of passengers suffering from heart attacks or other emergencies.
To sum up, we object to the location of the green market in this turnaround and believe that it should be offered to St. Anastasia’s Church. St. Anastasia needs the revenue. It uses its lot for carnivals and public events. This location we are protesting is small, out of the way and difficult to access for those who do not know the area. It would not be feasible or profitable enough to be viable.
Northern Boulevard is accessible to residents in Auburndale, Bayside, Douglaston, Little Neck, Great Neck and all the traffic that goes to Manhasset and points east. It is hard to justify the business logic of the promoters of GrowNYC to settle on this little turnaround spot in this location, which many visitors need their GPS to find.