Tag Archives: College Point Civic and Taxpayers Association

$575K upgrade to bring sidewalk to College Point’s MacNeil Park

| asuriel@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Alina Suriel

They’ll soon be walking on solid ground around College Point’s MacNeil Park.

State Senator Tony Avella allocated $575,000 for upgrades to the park, including the addition of a sidewalk around its perimeter.

Avella announced the allocation on Aug. 28 at the park, where he was joined by members of the College Point Civic and Taxpayers Association and College Point residents. In addition to a perimeter sidewalk, the funds will be also be used to create a formalized entrance to the park and plant additional foliage.

According to Avella, residents have been campaigning for the new sidewalk since he was a community activist in College Point.

“This is a great resource but it’s never been given the attention it needs,” he said. “I’m happy that I was able to get money but it really shouldn’t be up to the state. This is a city park and the city should be putting some money into this.”

While residents were happy to see incoming improvements to MacNeil Park, many complained of other issues which are long overdue for upgrades and city attention.

Ongoing complaints included unmowed grass, loiterers bringing open containers of booze and smashing glass bottles, overflow from sewers and growing potholes on a walking path deteriorating along the sea wall. Avella was able to see some of these issues firsthand in a tour of the park.

Resident Jennifer Shannon said that some of the potholes were big enough for a small child to climb inside.

“From what he’s saying, it’s going to make the front of the park beautiful, and that’s great,” Shannon said. “But it’s not going to change what’s going on inside the park. We need the other money.”


Concern in College Point over police tow pound

| mchan@queenscourier.com

College Point leaders fear crumbling roads in an already congested neighborhood will not be able to handle a new police tow pound that “magically appeared” out of nowhere.

State Senator Tony Avella said NYPD tow trucks have been bringing cars in and out of College Point Corporate Park for more than two weeks without first alerting the community.

“This is going to have a major impact on the local area,” he said. “You have tow trucks coming and going all hours of the day and night. You now have more congestion in that area.”

The 31-22 College Point Boulevard lot in the industrial, retail center is approximately 174,000 square feet, according to a spokesperson for the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC).

The NYCEDC oversees the corporate park but has not run the property in question since November 2012, the spokesperson said.

Local leaders said they know little about the use and duration of the operation. An NYPD spokesperson did not respond to requests for comment.

“This just magically appeared maybe three weeks ago,” said Andrew Rocco, president of the College Point Civic and Taxpayers Association. “Nobody was informed about it.”

Rocco said the tow pound would increase traffic on deteriorating roads marked with potholes. The area’s infrastructure also has to hold a new police academy currently being built, he said.

“There’s going to be 5,000 people coming in and out of there,” he said. “It’s just one insult after another.”

Avella said the tow pound is also operating without having gone through a lengthy vetting process called a Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP), which seeks feedback from the community board, borough president, Planning Commission and City Council.

Community Board 7 declined to comment at this time.

“The streets are falling apart,” said Joe Femenia of College Point. “The idea of a corporate park is bringing in businesses. When you put in a municipal work there, it counts as zero.”

“They keep sticking things in this district,” Femenia said. “That’s a cause for concern.”