Today, as the MTA finalizes its Capital Improvement Plan for next five years, Council Member Elizabeth S. Crowley (D-Queens), along with Senator Joseph Addabbo, Assembly Members Catherine Nolan and Michael Miller and community leaders called on the MTA to allow for the creation of much needed temporary green space on the corners of Metropolitan Avenue and Fresh Pond Road.
Currently it is the site of an abandoned newsstand and convenience store that has been neglected for over ten years. Plans to develop this area date back to Fiscal Year 2003 and is included in their MTAs current five-year Capital Plan.
While we continue to wait for the MTA to finally develop this area, we should be granted the opportunity to beautify this property in the meantime, said Council Member Elizabeth Crowley. The thousands of Queens residents who pass daily through this intersection have had to look at the dilapidated condition of this property for over a decade. As the gateway to Ridgewood, this long-time eyesore hurts the surrounding businesses and stifles the areas economic growth.
The intersection of Metropolitan Avenue and Fresh Pond Road is a staple in the Queens roadway transportation system. As one of the busiest intersections in Queens, bus traffic is particularly heavy with lines QM 24, 38, 39, 54, 58 and 67 passing through multiple times a day. Todays press conference was held the day after Council Member Elizabeth Crowley testified before the MTA board members at a hearing on their proposed 2014 Capital Plan. As part of her testimony, Council Member Elizabeth Crowley distributed a proposal addressed to each MTA board member with photos of the abandoned and rundown MTA-owned lots. After Council Member Elizabeth Crowleys testimony, members of the MTA promised to survey the area and to consider her proposal
This is a reasonably achievable proposal that will benefit the area drastically, said Council Member Elizabeth Crowley. If there is a question of funding, we will raise the needed monies for a contractor to take down the structure and clear out the debris. If there is a question about who will do the labor, there is a legion of volunteers ready to maintain the upkeep of the green space. As the areas City Council Member, I will work with the other local elected officials and community leaders to oversee that the proposed green space is well kept.
Council Member Elizabeth Crowleys proposal for the green space is supported by the State Legislators, including Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan (D-Ridgewood) who stated, I join my fellow Queens colleagues in support of transforming the Long Island Rail Road property on Metropolitan Avenue and Fresh Pond Road from an eye-sore to a green space. This space has become a center of crime, graffiti and traffic in Ridgewood. As a community, we can transform this space into the safe, green space to help welcome residents and visitors into Ridgewood.
Bromx officials holding public offices in the borough should act accordingly to provide similar initiatives benefitting the borough’s residents and guests.