You are reading

Queens Borough President Candidate Calls for Open Streets to Help Restaurants

Council Member Costa Constantinides (John McCarten for the City Council via Flickr)

May 20, 2020 By Allie Griffin

City Council Member and Queens borough president candidate Costa Constantinides is calling on the city to create 10 miles of commercial corridors — where streets are shut to traffic and local restaurants can open “European-style” sidewalk cafe space.

The proposal is part of a plan Constantinides announced today that would close more city streets to traffic for pedestrian and cyclists’ exclusive use during the pandemic.

The plan is similar to the mayor’s open streets initiative announced at the end of April in that both propose closing streets near public parks — but the council member has also called for establishing 10 miles of commercial corridors.

  • “Queens residents deserve open streets, so they may get fresh air and get back to work while keeping a safe distance from others,” Constantinides said. “But this needs to be a holistic plan that allows people to connect from one neighborhood to another as well as get restaurants back open.”

Constantinides said the the corridors would be key to helping restaurants in Queens reopen. The streets in the corridors would be closed to traffic, allowing restaurants to take over sidewalks for outdoor seating.

The sidewalk overflow would provide more space for social distancing between customers in the open air, he said.

The BP candidate is calling on the Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Department of Small Business Services to identify suitable commercial strips.

  • His plan also calls for the creation of 20 miles of protected bike lanes as well as new busways, or bus-only streets. Constantinides also wants to close the southern outer roadway along the Queensboro Bridge to car traffic, which would enable separate paths for cyclists and pedestrians.

  • The plan could create a framework for Queens even after the pandemic subsides, the council member said. If elected borough president, Constantinides promised to work with the DOT, MTA and community members to evaluate which of parts of his plan could be implemented long term.
email the author: [email protected]

One Comment

Click for Comments 
Miriam Elkin

Before you start to open any restaurants and stores, you must get rid of all the HOMELESS ppl. I went shopping on Austin Blvd. with my adult daughter. We were harassed by two homeless men that wanted Purell and money. We had to almost run away from them as they kept following us! We were shaken. Then we notice there was at least one on each block as we walked. Some homeless ppl on the floor some on steps of buildings and some that are in crossings to get you while you wait for the green light. We’re not going back there bc of the situation although we live very close to the area. It’s pretty sad, bc I remember when all you saw was a clean and pretty Austin Street.

Reply

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.


The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

Long Island woman sentenced to more than two decades in prison for 2021 hit-and-run that killed NYPD cop: DA

A Long Island woman was sentenced to more than 20 years in prison for speeding through an NYPD roadblock while drunk and killing a highway patrolman in a 2021 hit-and-run collision on the Long Island Expressway in Fresh Meadows.

Jessica Beauvais, 35, of Myrtle Avenue in Hempstead, was convicted in October of aggravated manslaughter and other crimes following a 13-day trial in Queens Supreme Court. Beauvais had a blood alcohol level of twice the legal limit two hours after plowing into Detective Anastasios Tsakos while he was diverting traffic around another fatal collision, and then speeding away from the scene of the collision.

Firefighter injured battling 2-alarm house fire in Forest Hills early Wednesday morning: FDNY

The FDNY battled a fast-moving two-alarm house fire in Forest Hills early Wednesday morning that injured one firefighter. The blaze broke out in a two-story private home at 114 Walnut St., a block north of Forest Park at 2:34 a.m. Arriving units found heavy fire conditions throughout the basement, first and second floors. Firefighters were hampered by an SUV parked illegally in front of a fire hydrant at the location.

The FDNY transmitted a second alarm, bringing 25 units and 106 firefighters and EMS personnel to the scene. Nearby residents said the building had been undergoing construction in recent weeks and firefighters were evacuated from the rooftop due to sagging conditions towards the rear of the home. Firefighters could be seen through a second-story window pulling down ceilings after flames breached the cockloft, the area between the roof and ceiling.