FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The Council of the City of New York
Council Member Costa Constantinides, District 22
October 7, 2019
Contact: Terence Cullen
Boulevard Gardens to Get Long-Awaited Traffic Light at Hobart Street and 30th Avenue
Announcement Fulfills Longtime Promise to Create a Safer Woodside
For photos of this announcement, click here
Astoria, NY — Council Member Costa Constantinides and Assembly Member Brian Barnwell today joined with the Boulevard Gardens community to announce that a long-sought traffic light will be installed at Hobart Street and 30th Avenue. The Department of Transportation’s agreement to install the safety measure comes after decades of advocacy from northern Woodside residents to improve this particularly tricky intersection.
Constantinides understood and heard residents’ concerns about this troublesome intersection long before he took office in 2014. Since that time, he and the Assembly Member have engaged both the community and the Queens DOT office on a best solution to ease traffic at this corner, including several walkthroughs of the area.
“When I took office, our Boulevard Gardens neighbors made two simple requests: remove the trailers from P.S. 171 and get us a traffic light at Hobart and 30th Avenue. Today, I am proud to say that thanks to our partnership, we have delivered on both of those promises,” said Council Member Costa Constantinides, District 22. “Crossing the street shouldn’t be a life-or-death situation, yet oftentimes it’s sadly the case at this intersection. Thanks to the tireless advocacy from Assembly Member Barnwell and the Boulevard Gardens community and the partnership of Queens DOT Commissioner Nicole Garcia, we’re creating a safer Woodside for all those who live here.”
“For decades Hobart/30th Avenue, and the area surrounding such, has been dangerous. Through working with neighbors, community leaders, and my colleagues in government, we have secured a big victory that will make the area safer for all,” said Assembly Member Brian Barnwell, District 30. “We have secured various traffic & pedestrian improvements, an actual traffic light, and 20-25 new parking spots. It’s a win for all, and I am very happy to have helped secure this for the community.”
“The Strippoli Triangle and Hobart Street safety enhancements, which include enhanced crossings, curb extensions and pedestrian ramps, as well as a new traffic signal at Hobart Street and 30th Avenue will make it safer for everyone to walk to and from PS 151, the Boulevard Gardens Housing Cooperative and local businesses,” said NYC DOT Queens Borough Commissioner Nicole Garcia. “We thank Assembly Member Barnwell, Council Member Constantinides, Community Board 1 and Boulevard Gardens residents for their determination and work to improve conditions at this complex intersection.”
Some Boulevard Gardens residents have advocated for the full traffic light since the 1980s. Years of letter writing and calls to City agencies yielded few results, however, as the neighborhood was left with a blinking red light and an all-way stop system. Many have complained that drivers disregard the stops signs or speed through this intersection, which serves as a junction between Astoria and Woodside. It’s also heavily trafficked by children who attend P.S. 151, located a block away at Hobart Street and 31st Avenue. The school’s principal has been among the community stakeholders concerned about students’ safety as they cross this dangerous intersection.
DOT engaged with local leaders, residents, and the P.S. 151 community to take a holistic approach to improving not just this corner, but the entire area from Hobart to 54th Streets as well as from 30th to 31st Avenues. The resulting renovation, which wrapped up earlier this year, has created pedestrian-friendlier crossings between Boulevard Gardens and the elementary school. Surrounding intersections also better complement one another, which will better mitigate traffic. Enhancements include:
- Installing a large concrete triangle at the tip of Strippoli Square (51st and 54th Streets at 31st Avenue)
- Painting a large triangle section at Hobart and 51st Streets
- Realigning and narrowing the moving lanes along Hobart Street
- Extending the concrete curb at Hobart Street and 30th Avenue
- Making all crossings ADA-compliant with pedestrian access ramps
The elected officials were joined by representatives from the New York City Department of Transportation; Marie Torniali, Chair of Community Board 1, Queens; Bob Piazza, Member of Community Board 1, Queens; Samantha Maisonet, Principal of P.S. 151 — the Mary D. Carter School; and members of the Boulevard Gardens community.
“Kudos to Council Member Constantinides and Assembly Member Barnwell for solving what was a dangerous crossing here in Woodside,” said Marie Torniali, Chair of Community Board 1, Queens. “They heard the concerns of this community, worked tirelessly with Queens Commissioner Garcia, and many walkthroughs later, a traffic light has been installed which will make all the difference in the world for the safety of all pedestrians who traverse here.”
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 of the City Council’s Environmental Protection Committee and sits on three additional committees: Sanitation, Resiliency, and Technology. For more information, visit council.nyc.gov/costa.