Katz outlines plan to ‘Green Queens’ if elected borough president

| mchan@queenscourier.com |

One thousand new trees would grow in Queens and government rooftops would be painted an energy-saving white should Melinda Katz win her bid to lead the borough.

The former legislator outlined her “Plan for a Green Queens” on Tuesday, September 3 with her newest supporter, the New York League of Conservation Voters.

“With a total absence of federal legislation on environmental issues, there is a real need for local leaders to step in and fill the vacuum,” Katz said.

The candidate said she would use her borough presidency to allocate more park space, make Queens government buildings more energy efficient and lead regular electronic waste drives.

“These are simple steps we can take locally that will improve our environment globally,” Katz said. “That’s the innovative approach our borough needs as we fight to create green jobs and expand the green-collar industry in Queens.”

She would also dedicate indoor and street recycling bins — a spin on a different initiative her Democratic opponent proposed last month.

Councilmember Peter Vallone Jr., who is facing off with Katz in a tight primary, said in August he would fund and install placards on trash cans given through the city’s volunteer “Adopt-A-Basket” program.

He also joined the White Roof Project in June to paint low-income and nonprofit roofs in Astoria with solar-reflective white coating.




    This is welcome news and definitely the type of initiative we should be seeing from our leaders. However, the only major Park proposal on the table at the moment is The QueensWay, which would create 55 acres of new park land in districts that are some of the most under served by parkland per capita in Queens, and would provide a 3.5 mile bike way connecting shopping streets, schools and transportation links. Yet Ms. Katz has not endorsed this project; one that would go a long way to realizing her state goal to Green Queens. Likewise, Queens Boulevard is badly in need of a redesign to roll back the Robert Moses changes that make it more like a speedway than a commercial boulevard through densely populated residential neighborhoods. A redesign could provide space for dedicated bus lanes, bike lanes, and wider medians with trees, benches and walkways. It would make the Boulevard safer for all users, promote the use of mass transit and bicycles as an alternative to car use and provide for the shade and air cleaning benefits of thousands of new trees. These are two major initiatives that would greatly benefit the residents of Queens and make it Greener. I very much hope Ms. Katz will openly support these proposals.