After months since Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas' idea to close Shore Blvd to cars, New York City Department of Traffic Commissioner Polly Trottenberg announced that there will be no plans to close The Strip. The announcement came at the Astoria Civic Association meeting earlier in the week.
The Commissioner along with Queens Borough Commissioner Nicole Garcia have instead opted for safety enhancements for pedestrians.
The idea was met with a number of people for and against.
There was a large portion of the community who wanted the Blvd to become a car free zone, with most complaining of safety issues for families, along with noise complaints from drivers in the middle of the night.
However, there was also many who were against the proposal, stating that the history of The Strip should be treasured, and that there had to be another way. A petition was also started, which soon reached more than a 1200 supporters. The petition was handed over to the Commissioners during the meeting by organizer Peter Argyris.
Tony Meloni, Community Board 1 member and head of the Astoria Civic Association, wrote an open letter, stating how Shore Blvd was an integral part of the community, and a place where people can come together, calling it 'one of the jewels of the city'.
Last month a commmunity workshop was held with the DOT by Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas and Councilman Costa Constantinides where many ideas were talked about on how to improve the safety of the blvd.
Simotas stated that although the idea of a car free zone was not successful, she was glad that a dialog was started, and that the problem is now being taken into consideration.