Elected officials vented at a press conference in Maspeth last Friday, Mar. 5, against the continued use of Grand and Flushing avenues as a commercial “through truck route” citing the damaging effects of exposure to diesel fumes to the community.
City Council Member Elizabeth Crowley was joined by Rep. Joseph Crowley, Rep. Anthony Weiner, State Sen. Joseph Addabbo, Assemblywoman Margaret Markey, City Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer and a host of community leaders in decrying the air pollution resulting from trucks that routinely use the connecting roadways to avoid traveling on the Long Island Expressway.
The public servants called on the Department of Transportation to alleviate the burden of vehicle congestion by turning the Grand Avenue-Flushing Avenue thorough- fare into a “local” route as part of a Maspeth Truck Bypass plan that was the brainchild of local civic leaders. The plan is currently the focus of a study being conducted by the DOT.
Council Member Crowley claimed that Queens is the only place where a route terminates at a borough boundary, causing trucks to clog up Maspeth’s primary shopping district.
“Neighborhood residents are thrilled that the study for the Maspeth Bypass Plan is underway,” added Rosemarie Daraio, president of the Communities of Maspeth and Elmhurst Together (COMET) civic association. “COMET is anxious to work with our elected officials and DOT to ensure that the study addresses the community's concerns and that it is completed as quickly as possible. Hopefully NYC DOT will consider installing signage as a preliminary step. We look forward to a safer and more environmentally friendly Grand Avenue.”