Today’s news:

Bike path eyed for LIRR track

The board also heard updates to get a feasibility study commissioned to turn the dilapidated LIRR Rockaway Beach Branch into a greenway with a bicycle path.The speed humps would be placed on Park Lane South between 76th and 79th streets after a city Department of Transportation study said the road warranted them, according to CB 9 Public Safety, Consumer Affairs and Transportation Committee Chairman Jim Coccovillo.He said the area has "fast moving traffic" and committee had no objection to the plan, which was unanimously approved by CB 9.City Councilwoman Melinda Katz (D-Forest Hills) brought up the greenway issue at the meeting at Le Cordon Bleu in Woodhaven and noted that the proposed greenway would encompass three community boards.The abandoned tracks begin in Rego Park Ð covered by CB 6 Ð go through Forest Park and CB 9 and end in Ozone Park, which is covered by CB 10. The LIRR discontinued the use of the branch due to a decline in ridership in 1962.She noted that CB 6 board members whose homes are near the tracks were opposed to the greenway and said the three board's opinions should be respected."Each community board has to look at the issue in its own light," Katz said, noting that she herself has concerns about the greenway."There will absolutely be an issue with policing," she said. "I guarantee it." The councilwoman said she understood that the potential feasibility study would not include the Rego Park section of the tracks, but those involved said otherwise.CB 9 second Vice Chairman Thomas Chiofolo, who is a member of the Rockaway Beach Branch Greenway Committee Ð an organization pushing for the feasibility study, said the group met with a CB 6 subcommittee about the greenway and said he would not have had the discussion if the board was not to be included in the study.He also suggested that those CB 6 members did not understand the reason for the study, which would determine the viability of the project."The general tenor (of the discussion) ... was that (they felt) if they agreed to the feasibility study, they agreed to the project being done," Chiofolo said.In other business, CB 9 gave unanimous support to "The Wonderful Woodhaven Street Fair," an annual event on Jamaica Avenue between Woodhaven Boulevard and 80th Street organized by the Greater Woodhaven Development Corporation. This year's fair is scheduled for Oct. 14 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m."It was very successful and very law abiding" last year, said Maria Thomson, executive director of the fair and CB 9 member. "Every year, it has been a well run street festival."Stephen Esposito, president of the organization and CB 9 member, noted that 50,000 people attended in 2006 without incident.The board unanimously gave its support. Esposito and Thomson abstained due to a conflict of interest.Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by e-mail at news@timesledger.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 173.

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