Responsible Use of Astoria Park during COVID 19

Astoria Park

Councilman Costa Constantinides is calling on the city to temporarily close and increase police enforcement of social distancing on Shore Blvd. He has also called for increased enforcement in the Soccer, Running Track, Skateboard Park, and Parking Lot in Astoria Park.

Astoria park running track

Costa gave OANA the following statement:

“ I’m worried about saving lives. I’ve seen the weekend “car shows” (Double parked, racing vehicles) on Shore Blvd. I’ve seen the track. We need enforcement and we need more space. We need social distancing or Astoria becomes a hotspot. I’m desperate to keep people safe. I live here and want to protect my neighborhood much more than anything else.”

OANA applauds any measures that increase safety. One way to hopefully lesson density is to create more open space, which this will do.

Shore Blvd has been an issue regarding noise and rowdy behavior for the last 40 years. Our President Richard Khuzami has been calling for increased Parks Enforcement Officers for the last 15 years, especially when he was Parks Chair for CB1. We feel this is of primary importance! Even if and when Shore Blvd is closed, people will still tend to congregate together. It is human nature. There is NO SUBSTITUTE FOR ENFORCEMENT”

Looking ahead, we also want to emphasize that the closure of Shore Blvd should be temporary.

Closures were tried in the past, and it just led to the party moving to residential streets around the Park and also the Parks’ parking lot. This caused even worse disruption to the quality of life of local residents.

We also cannot close of the waterfront to the disabled and seniors who need vehicular access. Service vehicles also need access. And lastly, we cannot lose the neighborhood parking spots on Shore Blvd. (Even when closed, if there is a way to keep the parking spots, please do!).

So during these unique times, we wholeheartedly support Costa’s request, especially the call for increased enforcement! And we call on everyone to act responsibly. For themselves and their neighbors!

Skate park in Astoria

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