This one goes out to all the Queens readers:
Tomorrow, August 25, the city is setting up a temporary pedestrian plaza at Newtown and 30th Avenue, in front of the Key Food. This is meant as a trial run for a permanent plan that would block off the street where cars are always whizzing by in an unnerving way.
The pushback on this plan has been immense–Astoria’s old guard sure does love its parking spaces. Specifically, the owners of Key Food and United Brothers (among others) are loudly, obnoxiously opposed. This bugs me, because I moved to Astoria because of United Brothers and their 24-hour produce gorgeousness–I don’t want to hate them.
So if you live in Astoria, or anywhere nearby, it would be great to see you at the plaza tomorrow, to show your support for the proposal.
I’ll be out there off and on all day, with picnic foods and the paper, and maybe some games. I’ll be doing my shopping–on foot–at Key Food and United Brothers. It would be great if you did too, to show them the world won’t end when
seven three (three! only three! sheesh) parking spots disappear. (Not like numbers matter to these guys, though–a DOT study showed only 8 percent of their customers come by car.)
Friends of Newtown Plaza is on Facebook. They could use a few more Likes. Peter Vallone Jr, our vaunted councilman, has decided to oppose the plaza proposal, based on the vocal (and irrational) business owners. He needs to hear from more rational people, like our most distinguished selves, who believe one of Astoria’s main intersections should be made safer–and just plain nicer–for pedestrians.
For the record, here’s the opposition’s Facebook page. “Open to all” sounds so good, right? But the presence of cars of course pretty much rules out everyone else.