Respecting the past, Building the future

Street Cleaning in Old Astoria

We at Old Astoria Neighborhood Assn. (OANA) read with interest the op-ed in today’s Crains warning us to avoid street cleaning and Alternate Side parking (ASP).

We greatly appreciate the fact that this helps keep this issue in the Public Eye.

However, as far as being told by Crains we should be careful what we wish for, we warn the author’s Park Slope neighborhood the same. If street cleaning is eliminated there, they would soon regress into the same quality of life issues we face in Old Astoria.

We also understand that Park Slope recently had their street cleaning schedule reduced from 4 times to 2 times per week total. All we ask is the same consideration! Please see our original Press release!

We want to clarify our position:

  1. We are in favor of once a week per side (2 times total) street cleaning for all residential streets. 2 times a week per side (4 times total) should only be applied on Commercial streets, and this only after 2 times a week total has been tried and proved ineffective. Also, the commercial neighborhood should be warned before 4 times total is applied and be given a chance to rectify the situation.
  2. Park Slope is a totally different neighborhood than Old Astoria. Park Slope is a mature primarily residential neighborhood and are few if any street that have no street cleaning. Old Astoria is a manufacturing and residential neighborhood undergoing tremendous development. But we have numerous streets with no street cleaning at all.

25th Road
26th Road
27th Avenue between 12th and 21st Streets
12 Street.
26th Avenue
3rd Street
2nd Street
30th Drive between Vernon and 14th Street
30th Avenue between Vernon and 14th Street
31st Avenue between Vernon and 14th Street

Welling Court

  1. These streets have huge issues regarding both trash accumulation and lengthy parking of vehicles (Sometimes for months at a time) because the vehicles do not have to be moved. This has been exasperated with Ferry being introduced, as non-residents park and ride the ferry. Also, even the most responsible of property owners cannot clean underneath cars that are parked for an extended period of time. This leads to real quality of life issues, including:

a/   Unhealthy accumulation of trash, resulting in issues from smells, rodents,          unsightly streets, health issues, and declining property values (amongst others).

b/   Lack of parking spots for residents due to non-residents using our neighborhood            for long term parking. While the Crains article complained about cars having to     circle endlessly in Park Slope because of Alternate Side Parking,(ASP) we also have this issue, only it is caused by lack of parking due to spots being used to warehouse vehicles. While the article says that the empty spots are only available briefly,          this is not the point. ASP would rid us of these warehoused vehicles.

  1. As long as DSNY insists on street cleaning 4 times per week, residents will not accept it. This requirement is counter to DSNY’s goal of a safe and clean environment! This is why we ask that street cleaning and Alternate Side Parking be restricted to no more than 2 times per week total. Residents have submitted petitions asking for street cleaning, but only twice a week total.
  1. While we are aware of the 7-day regulation limiting parking, the NYPD will not enforce it on a continuous basis, as it is not an effective use of personnel.
  1. The Crains article references metered parking to alleviate the situation. While it is true that DOT said we do not qualify, this would not help much anyways, as meters would only apply to commercial streets, and do not affect residential.
[alert type=”info” close=”false”]Finally: the neighborhood does not want cleaning 4 times per week, period! No one is in favor of this! Shouldn’t the neighborhood’s desires take precedence over the bureaucracy?[/alert]

Mr. Khuzami has been a member of Community Board 1 in Astoria, NY for the last 20 years. He sits on the Zoning and parks Committees and is on the Executive Board. Previously, he served as Parks and Culture chair of Community Board 1 for eleven years and also chaired Capital and Expense priority Committee. He is a member of the Queens General Assembly and had been a panelist for grant submissions for the Queens Council on the Arts (QCA). Richard also is an officer of The Eastern Mediterranean Business Culture Alliance (EMBCA) and President of OANA.

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