NEW SPRINGVILLE — Joe Lhota called on the city to open and widen the roads inside Freshkills Park to help alleviate traffic on heavily congested streets in Staten Island.
The new four-lane roads would help calm congestion on Richmond and Travis avenues, the West Shore Expressway and Arthur Kill Road, said Lhota, who was joined by Assemblyman Joe Borelli.
"We need to build the roads that were envisioned here when the plans were put together to close the landfill," Lhota said.
"If you've ever been on Richmond Avenue during rush hour and the morning, or in the evening, it's bumper to bumper traffic and we need to find a way to enhance the quality of life of everyone out here."
The Parks Department plans to open the roads, which were used by the Department of Sanitation, as one-lane roads when Freshkills Parks opens, but Borelli said they should open them as soon as possible.
"Why is it that Parks Department thinks we're out here just holding our breath waiting for kayaking?" he said. "There's plenty of room with four lanes to do bird watching or whatever you'd like to do."
The Parks Department did not immediately respond to request for comment.
Lhota, who was deputy mayor to Rudy Guiliani during the closing of Fresh Kills Landfill, said they looked to open the roads all the way back in 2001, and said it wouldn't take much time for the city to get these streets open.
"These roads should've been open a long time ago," he said.
During the press conference, Lhota, who has campaigned on Staten Island eight times since the primaries, called out his opponent Bill de Blasio for only visiting the borough once and turning down his offer to debate him here.
"It's really important to focus on the fact that this is a borough," he said. "You need to be worried about what goes on here just as much as any other part of the city of New York."