While weekenders enjoy vegan corn dogs and masa festivals, Rockaway locals are engaged in a couple of increasingly fierce political fights. Yesterday, DNA Info confirmed that — despite an ad that advocates placed on an Italian news site while Mayor De Blasio was vacationing there — the weekday ferry service that was instituted post-Sandy will be discontinued after October.
AM NY followed up with a quote from the mayor’s office confirming that the $3.50 boat rides will be kaput barring an “extraordinary increase in ridership.” Which, it seems, Rockaway residents are doing their best to bring about. As a regular rider of the ferry who signed the petition that’s been circulating at the concession stands and elsewhere, I’ve definitely noticed a marked uptick in passengers in recent days.
Meanwhile, back on land, another transportation headache has been caused, on Flatbush Avenue, by construction of a controversial underground pipeline that will bring fracked natural gas through the beach, Floyd Bennett Field, and the Marine Park Golf Course, as well as other areas of Gateway National Recreation Area. As Gothamist pointed out, opponents such as Coalition Against the Rockaway Pipeline are worried not just about radon levels, but also that another hurricane or simple negligence will bring about the type of explosions, fires and leaks that have occurred at similar sites in the past.
Now Bluestockings, the LGBT bookstore and activist center on the Lower East Side, has decided to get in on the fight with a Bike Ride to the Beach (Gay Beach) to Stop the Pipeline.
“Less than two years ago, the Rockaway Peninsula was ravaged by Superstorm Sandy,” the event’s organizer writes on its Facebook page. “Now, fossil fuel companies plan to run a dangerous pipeline right under our beach. Drilling has already begun and you can see the ominous construction platform for the ‘proposed’ transfer station right off the coast.”
In case you’re thinking, “Why should I give a frack?”, the bookstore continues, “Jacob Riis Beach has long been the site of a great big gay beach party so when we’re finished with the day’s protest action we can meet up with the LGBTQQA community for some fun in the sun.”
If that sounds like a plan, you can bring signs and noisemakers to the store at 172 Allen Street this Saturday at 11 a.m. The ride leaves at noon and will meet up with the NYC Cargo Bike Collective in Herbert Von King Park for their Stop the Pipeline Beach Ride.