Queens Lawmakers On The Move Feb. 26, 2019

Queens County City Council News

Vallone Announces Joe Femenia Way

City Council Member Paul Vallone

City Council Member Paul Vallone (D-Auburndale, Bay Terrace, Bayside, Beechhurst, College Point, Douglaston, Flushing, Little Neck, Malba, Whitestone) yesterday announced plans to co-name the intersection of 23rd Avenue and 130th Street as “Joe Femenia Way”, in memory of the late civic president and community stalwart.

The bill for this co-naming will be introduced and passed later this year, with a co-naming ceremony likely for the late summer.

“The tragic and unexpected passing of Joseph Femenia was a great loss for all of College Point,” said Vallone. “The victories and ongoing battles to preserve and protect College Point will always be part of Joe’s great legacy. He will now be forever remembered for generations as they look to the street sign recognizing his great legacy. I will forever cherish Joe’s friendship, vision and the leadership he displayed as we worked together.”

“Naming a street for Joe is a tribute to his hard work and dedication to make College Point a better place to live and work. He spent countless hours for over a decade making the College Point Civic Association a strong community based organization that became the voice of the community,” said Tom Palma, Chair of the College Point Board of Trade. “The street sign will become a lasting symbol and remembrance that we all need to dedicate time to get involved in order to improve the community that we live in.”

Koo, Stavisky Lobby DOT To Finish Northern Blvd Street Repaving

City Council Member Peter Koo
State Sen. Toby Ann Stavisky

City Council Member Peter Koo (D-Downtown Flushing, Murray Hill, Queensboro Hill) and State Sen. Toby Stavisky (D-Central Queens) on Friday ramped the pressure up on the City’s Department of Transportation to finish the repaving of Northern Boulevard, citing dangerous conditions due to months of no street markings.

Resurfacing on the 1.5 mile stretch of Northern from College Point Boulevard to 156th Street began last fall, but delays stretched the project into the winter preventing the thermoplastic lane markings from sticking. After community complaints, the city placed temporary lane lines, but even those markings have since faded leaving a dangerous thoroughfare where multiple lanes of traffic have no clear markings to direct vehicle or pedestrian traffic.

Last year, Koo introduced legislation Intro-1805 that would require all pavement markings be repainted one week after the completion of street resurfacing work. The resurfacing on Northern was completed at least two months ago.

“We understand that delays happen, but Northern Boulevard is a Vision Zero Priority Corridor that deserves to be treated as the highest priority. Without the proper lane and pedestrian markings, whatever dangers that already exist on this busy thoroughfare are significantly exacerbated, and the city needs to finish the job and treat this corridor with the urgency it deserves,” said Koo.

Stavisky commended the DOT for completing much-needed paving on Northern Boulevard last year, but noted the community is still waiting for lines and markers to be painted.

“It is dangerous for both drivers and pedestrians, especially in the evening. The safety and well-being of our constituents is a top priority, and I hope that we can work together to solve this issue in a timely manner,” said Stavisky.

Constantinides Holds Hearing On Bills To Control Odor Of Sewage

City Council Member Costa Constantinides

City Council Member Costa Constantinides (D-Astoria, East Elmhurst, Jackson Heights, Woodside), chair of the Environmental Protection Committee yesterday held a hearing on several bills relating to controlling oder of sewage and sludge.

One pending bill would require that any person transporting sewage sludge does so in a container enclosed by solid materials that prevent the emission of noxious odors.

Another bill would require an air quality monitoring program around wastewater treatment plants that the Department of Environmental Protection operates. The program would monitor hazardous air pollutants in the vicinity of the plants, including but not limited to greenhouse gases and airborne microorganisms. This bill would require DEP to report the program’s findings to the Council annually and post the report on the DEP website.

Another proposed local law would require the department to prepare a plan to prevent sewer backups, to reduce sewer backups and to target recurring backups. The proposed local law also requires the department to review the root control strategies of other municipalities and, following the review, consider recommending root control strategies for private property owners.

At post time it is unclear if any of the measures made it out of committee.