The Council of the City of New York
Office of Costa Constantinides
For Immediate Release
June 2, 2017
Contact: Shachar Sharon
Elected Officials Propose Traffic Mitigation Measures on Grand Central Parkway
Call for Allowing All Trucks to Travel Between BQE and RFK Bridge
Astoria, N.Y. – Council Member Constantinides, State Senator Michael Gianaris, and Assemblymember Aravella Simotas today called for traffic mitigation measures on the Grand Central Parkway (GCP). They were joined by Congressman Joe Crowley, Community Board 1, residents of nearby HANAC George T Douris Tower senior residence, and others.
In order to alleviate traffic on the GCP service road, the officials requested that all trucks be allowed to travel on the parkway between the Robert F. Kennedy (RFK) Bridge and the Brooklyn Queens Expressway (BQE) and vice versa.
Because large truck drivers currently have to exit the GCP in order to travel between the RFK Bridge and the BQE, there is heavy traffic on the service road and neighborhood streets. Trucks crowd the streets leaving less room for cars and cause daily traffic jams. They bring detrimental environmental effects, including the emission of heavy fumes and damage to the roads. Astoria residents, including those at the Douris Tower senior residence, endure loud window-rattling noise on a regular basis caused by trucks on the neighborhood roads.
Allowing trucks to remain on the GCP would improve traffic safety, bring environmental benefits, and make travel faster and easier for cars.
Constantinides said, “All Astorians deserve access to streets without unbearable traffic, loud noises, and heavy fumes. Opening the parkway to all trucks between the BQE and the bridge would be beneficial to our environment and for traffic safety. Taking this move would be a solid step towards Astoria Blvd feeling less like a highway for big trucks and more like the street that our seniors, families and residents need it to be everyday. We look forward to working to implement this solution with our partners in government.”
Gianaris said, “Astoria residents have suffered long enough due to large trucks using our local roads creating massive traffic, unbearable noise and damaged streets. This simple fix would alleviate these problems while facilitating commerce by creating greater convenience for truck drivers. It’s a win-win solution that should be implemented immediately.”
Simotas said, “Thousands of Astoria residents are literally being tormented by traffic from heavy trucks that feel like an invading army. It’s illogical,thoughtless and cruel to force a residential neighborhood to be a truck route when there is an alternative, available major thoroughfare, namely the Grand Central Parkway. Opening up this tiny section of the parkway — which is no longer the quiet scenic roadway envisioned originally — is a solution begging to be implemented. The benefits of better air quality and the residents’ enjoyment of quiet homes will be felt for generations when big trucks are taken off these local streets.”
Council Member Costa Constantinides represents the New York City Council’s 22nd District, which includes his native Astoria along with parts of Woodside, East Elmhurst, and Jackson Heights. He serves as the chair the City Council’s Environmental Protection Committee and sits on six additional committees: Civil Service & Labor, Contracts, Cultural Affairs, Oversight & Investigations, Sanitation, and Transportation. For more information, visit council.nyc.gov/costa.