The DNAinfo archives brought to you by WNYC.
Read the press release here.

Maker Faire is Coming Back, But Locals Want it Moved to Citi Field

By Katie Honan | September 17, 2014 8:38am
  The World Maker Faire will be held in the parking lot of NYSCI on Sept. 20 and Sept. 21 
Community Board Asks Maker Faire to Move to Larger Space Next Year
View Full Caption

CORONA — Locals want the popular Maker Faire to move next year from its home at the New York Hall of Science to Citi Field, complaining that it makes a mess of local streets and wreaks havoc on traffic.

Since the art and innovation event was first held at the New York Hall of Science, or NYSCI, at 44th Avenue and 111th Street four years ago, attendance has steadily increased — bringing more traffic and gridlock to those living in the area, according to the community board. 

The fair, which shows off art, science projects, robots and inventions, brought 70,000 people to NYSCI in 2013, according to The Verge. It is scheduled to come back to the parking lot of NYSCI on Sept. 20-21.

On Tuesday, Community Board 4 sent a letter to organizers, local politicians, and the Parks Department asking organizers to move the event to the Citi Field parking lot, which they feel is better equipped for the size of the event.

“There are too many cars, too many vendors, too much garbage — they should see what they can do to make it easier for the community,” said Christian Cassagnol, the board’s district manager.


'East River Skyway' Seeks to Connect LIC, Brooklyn and Manhattan With Trams

Queens Moms Start ZUMBA Classes for Parents at Local Schools

MAP: 'Manhattan-Style' Developments That Turned Rego Park into a Hot Spot

The board said it is not against Maker Faire, buts want organizers to work more with the community. Maker Faire did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The Mets referred questions to NYSCI.

Dan Wempa, the vice president of external affairs at NYSCI, said he knows there are concerns from some neighbors but it “doesn't reflect the feedback we've heard from a lot of families and businesses in our neighborhood who love World Maker Faire," he said.

“As World Maker Faire gets more popular each year, we keep trying to get better at how we manage traffic, trash and other sensitive issues."

NYSCI provides guests with shuttles between the Citi Field, where parking is available for $10, and the fair.

Wempa could not immediately comment on the request to move the event to Citi Field.

The event has a bike valet and, for the first time, the LIRR will run directly to Mets-Willets Point to make it easier for people to take public transportation, he said.

Jimmy Lisa, 66, lives across from NYSCI and has also asked the organizers to move the world-renowned event for two years, he said.

“My hope every year is to have it moved,” he said. 

The Maker Faire began in 2006 in California and has grown each year, with dozens of similar festivals held around the world, according to the organizers.

The Queens event is sponsored by NYSCI and Disney with support from companies including Intel and NASA.

Supporters say the event offers something "priceless" for the borough — encouraging innovation just like the historic World's Fairs.

Thousands of neighborhood residents attend the World Maker Faire, including students who attend the Maker Academy summer camp.

They get to show off some of their inventions and creations at the fair, alongside creators from around the world.

"There is the individual doing stuff for fun, but many companies also present their new products at the event," said Rob Mackay of the Queens Economic Development Corporation.

"So it's good for the world economy and good for the local economy, and I certainly hope Queens becomes the hot spot for tech."