The Council of the City of New York
Office of Costa Constantinides
(718) 274-4500

For Immediate Release
February 22, 2018
Contact: Shachar Sharon

Constantinides, DOT, Community Groups Announce Traffic Mitigation Measures on Steinway Street
First Phase of Councilman’s Steinway St. Reinvestment Proposals

Astoria, N.Y. – Council Member Costa Constantinides, Department of Transportation (DOT) Queens Borough Commissioner Nicole Garcia, and members of the Steinway Astoria Partnership today announced that the first phase of Constantinides’ proposal to reinvest in Steinway Street will be implemented. They were joined by Community Board 1 and Assemblymember Aravella Simotas. Street safety improvements including three new mid-block crosswalks and traffic signals will soon be installed on Steinway Street from 30th Avenue through 34th Avenue. These enhancements aim to improve pedestrian safety for thousands of people who shop on this major commercial corridor every day.

There are currently no mid-block crossings along Steinway Street, where blocks can stretch up to 1,000 feet long. A shopper who wants to cross between two stores mid-block by using the crosswalks at the end of the block could have to walk over 500 feet to reach the nearest crosswalk. While observing Steinway Street, DOT counted hundreds of pedestrians crossing mid-block. The distance between the nearest crosswalks and the hundreds of pedestrians crossing Steinway Street make these mid-block crossings an important enhancement to this already vibrant commercial heart of Astoria.

The addition of these mid-block crosswalks will calm car traffic and provide additional opportunities for shoppers and pedestrians to walk between stores, making Steinway Street safer and more conducive to commerce. These measures will bring economic and safety benefits to countless businesses on this major commercial corridor.

In addition to the traffic signals and mid-block crosswalks, enhanced safety treatments for each crossing are also proposed. These safety treatments will include painted curb extensions and planters, which shorten the crossing distance while elevating the aesthetics of the streetscape. Click to view similar safety treatments currently implemented on Lexington Avenue.

Constantinides said, “These traffic mitigation measures will greatly improve the Steinway Street experience for pedestrians, shoppers, and small business owners. If the street is safer and easier to cross, shoppers will be able to walk between stores more safely. Thank you to DOT Queens Borough Commissioner Garcia and the Steinway BID for their partnership on this important public safety issue.”

“Steinway Street is on its way to becoming a safer, more inviting street for everyone thanks to the leadership of Council Member Constantinides and the advocacy of the Steinway Astoria Partnership,” said Nicole Garcia, DOT Queens Borough Commissioner. “New, signalized crosswalks, markings, signs and other treatments at key points shorten the distances between crossings, making it easier for pedestrians of all ages to cross safely, shop and explore one of the borough’s most vibrant and exciting commercial corridors.”

Marie Torniali, Executive Director of the Steinway Astoria Partnership, said “The Steinway BID is very excited to see these long awaited pedestrian friendly improvements to the Steinway streetscape being implemented. The blocks on Steinway are easily the length of two city blocks and walking to either end is a chore. Mid block crossings will make it easier and safer for shoppers and residents to cross the street. An added bonus will be that shoppers will most likely visit more businesses that they might otherwise overlook which will aid our small business community. We thank Council Member Constantinides and DOT for making this happen.”

Assembly Member Aravella Simotas said, “It is very encouraging that Councilmember Constantinides’ proposal was so well received by the DOT; this is a case study in how government ought to work—for the benefit of community residents and businesses alike. Mid-block crossings are a great way to preserve and grow the appeal of Steinway street, which still has untapped potential as a go-to destination for shopping, eating out or simply sharing a great cup of coffee with friends.”

This traffic mitigation plan is the first phase of Constantinides’ proposal, announced last year, to improve Steinway Street to make it safer and more conducive to commerce.

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 four additional committees: Parks, Transportation, For-Hire Vehicles, and Land Use, as well as the sub-committee on Zoning and Franchises. For more information, visit council.nyc.gov/costa.

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