BY ARIEL HERNANDEZ
Following an announcement that he planned to prioritize upgrades to Astoria’s Steinway Street, Councilman Costa Constantinides (D-Astoria) is now calling on the community to provide input on fixing up the commercial strip.
During his State of the District address, Constantinides proposed a comprehensive reevaluation of Steinway Street to make its streetscape both safer and more conducive to commerce. To ensure that the community is included in this project, Constantinides held a press conference on Friday, where members of the Steinway Astoria Partnership, Transportation Alternatives, state Sen. Michael Gianaris (D-Astoria), Assembly members Aravella Simotas (D-Astoria) and Brian Barnwell (D-Maspeth), Community Board 1 and others called on Astoria residents to make suggestions for improvements to the street.
“Steinway Street has long been the commercial heart of Astoria,” Constantinides said. “Yet, business along the thoroughfare has been in transition for a few years. Many great shopping areas around our city have measures to mitigate traffic and dedicated spaces for public gathering. We have the opportunity to turn Steinway Street into something similar. A collaborative effort will ensure that plans will benefit our entire neighborhood. That’s why we’re soliciting input from community residents and will continue to work with city agencies and other stakeholders as these proposals come to fruition.
Together, we will make Steinway Street safer and benefit our small-business owners.”
Proposals set forth for the Steinway Street Plan include mid-block crossings and leading pedestrian intervals (LPIs), so that shoppers can cross the street to travel between businesses easily and safely. Given that there have been numerous traffic-related injuries along Steinway Street between Astoria Boulevard and 34th Avenue in recent years, the streetscape upgrades are projected to combat that issue.
In an effort to help boost economic growth in the area, the changes are aimed to create an anchor space to draw in shoppers.
“Steinway Street has been broken for far too long and [the councilman’s] proposed changes are good steps forward that will improve conditions for pedestrians,” said Macartney Morris, executive director of the Steinway Astoria Partnership. “Now is the time to think outside of the box and realize streets like Steinway don’t have to remain broken just because that’s how they’ve always been.”
To provide input on changes to the street, email Steinway@council.nyc.gov.
Reach Ariel Hernandez at (718) 357-7400 x144 or firstname.lastname@example.org