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You Told Us: Should Astoria Park's Shore Boulevard Go Car-Free?

By Jeanmarie Evelly | September 10, 2015 4:04pm
 Shore Boulevard along Astoria Park.
Shore Boulevard along Astoria Park.
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DNAinfo/Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska

You Told Us is a regular feature where we highlight comments from users in the communities DNAinfo covers.

ASTORIA — A lawmaker's proposal to close the portion of Shore Boulevard that runs through Astoria Park to traffic has drawn strong opinions from readers, with some supporting the idea of a car-free roadway and others saying it would be a wrong move.

State Assemblywoman Aravellas Simotas asked the Department of Transportation to turn the waterfront roadway, from Astoria Park South to Ditmars Boulevard, into a pedestrian-only zone, citing complaints about speeding drivers and noisy, idling cars.

Her idea earned the praise of some readers, who agreed that leaving the street open to traffic has caused some quality-of-life issues for park-goers.

► "My wife and I took our kids to Astoria Park for the first time about a month ago. After playing in the playground for an hour we decided to go to an ice cream truck parked on this street. My experience was only about 20-30 minutes but it was horrible. Lots of sketchy people sitting in their cars with tinted windows, lots of loud music coming from cars, cars just cruising down the street and cars speeding. This road should not be there."

—DNAinfo commenter MrC

► "Yes definitely! All the reasons are sound. Keep out speeders, drag racers, drug deals and pimps. It works all around. To those who are naysayers, think about this: How would you feel if your kid got run over by a speeding car?"

Neighborhood Square user melissa-wolf

Others were adamant that Shore Boulevard stay the way it is. An online petition to keep the street open to cars has more than a thousands signatures, and many DNAinfo readers seem to agree.

► "This has been tried before and caused absolute chaos for the streets bordering Astoria park and Ralph DeMarco park. 19th St, Ditmars Blvd and Hoyt Ave N and S, not to mention 21 St. They will be the hardest hit and these are residential streets unlike Shore Blvd which is not ... The noisy, idling cars and loud music will move to the above mentioned streets as they do whenever Shore is closed. It's used daily by thousands of residents and it would be impractical to close it."

Neighborhood Square user Meloni25

► "I think this is really stupid. It's too far of a walk for someone to have to get from one side to the other. If they really cared about people crossing the street, there should be 10 stop signs with crosswalks thru the strip, not a ban of cars all together."

Neighborhood Square user parry-ermo

But others countered that Astoria Park has its own parking lot that drivers can rely on.

► "I'm baffled by people who are complaining about not being able to park on this road. There is a rather large parking lot in the park. If you want to see a view of the water, here are instructions: park your car in the parking lot...get out of car...use your legs....walk to view of water...and enjoy, especially now that you'd have more space to enjoy that view because there aren't cars parked there. Wow, what a concept."

—DNAinfo reader LG

And for at least one reader, the discussion touched on a greater debate about cars in the city.

► "i swear i hate new york they want to close every street and turn everything into a bike lane and then ask why there is traffic wtf LEAVE THIS AREA ALONE!!!"

—DNAinfo reader Realest Minority