Rockaway Park is a neighborhood in the New York City borough of Queens. The area is on the Rockaway Peninsula, nestled between Jamaica Bay to the north and the Atlantic Ocean to the south. The neighborhood of Rockaway Beach lies on its eastern border while the community of Belle Harbor is situated on its western side. The neighborhood is part of Queens Community Board 14.
The heavily Irish Rockaway Park has been called the "Irish Riviera". The 2000 United States Census showed that 36.0% of the population were of Irish ancestry in the ZCTA for ZIP Code 11694. The Saint Patrick's Day parade in Rockaway is the second-largest St. Patrick's Day Parade in New York City, second only to New York City's Saint Patrick's Day Parade up Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.
The neighborhood is centered around Beach 116th Street, a two-block street that runs from Beach Channel Drive southward to Ocean Promenade. At the street's northern end is Tribute Park, which has a memorial to the 343 firefighters killed in the September 11 terrorist attacks, and at its southern tip is a memorial to the 265 victims of American Airlines Flight 587, which crashed nearby on November 12, 2011.
The area is served by bus routes operated by MTA New York City Bus. The Q22 bus runs the length of the Rockaway Peninsula. The Q52 SBS runs from Beach 54th Street in Arverne, over the Cross Bay Bridge via Cross Bay Boulevard to Woodhaven. The Q53 SBS runs from Beach 116th Street, over the Cross Bay Bridge via Cross Bay Boulevard to Woodside, and Woodside LIRR station and 61st Street subway station. The Q35 runs from Beach 116th Street to the Flatbush Avenue – Brooklyn College subway station, and the Brooklyn College, in Brooklyn via the Marine Parkway-Gil Hodges Memorial Bridge and Flatbush Avenue. It goes through Belle Harbor, Neponsit, and Jacob Riis Park on the Rockaway Peninsula.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy on October 29, 2012, which caused massive infrastructure damage to the A train south of the station at Howard Beach – JFK Airport, severing all direct subway connections between the Rockaway Peninsula and Broad Channel, Queens and the Queens mainland for many months, ferry operator SeaStreak began running a city-subsidized ferry service between a makeshift ferry slip at Beach 108th Street and Beach Channel Drive and Pier 11/Wall Street in Lower Manhattan, then continuing on to the East 34th Street Ferry Landing in midtown Manhattan. In August 2013, a stop was added at Brooklyn Army Terminal. Originally intended as just a stopgap alternative transportation measure until subway service was restored to the Rockaways, the ferry proved to be popular with both commuters and tourists and was extended several times, although the original $2 one-way fare was raised to $3.50 in February 2014. Although civic activists and local elected officials lobbied the city government to make the ferry permanent, or to at least continue the temporary extension, those efforts proved to be unsuccessful, and the last ferry sailed on the night of October 31, 2014.
In February 2015, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that Rockaway would be part of a new citywide ferry service expected to begin in 2017, with the Beach 108th Street site slated to again be the location for the ferry landing. On May 1, 2017, NYC Ferry's Rockaway route started operations between Pier 11/Wall Street in Manhattan's Financial District and Beach 108th Street in Rockaway Park, with a stop at Brooklyn Army Terminal.
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