By Jonathan Sperling
Residents of Old Astoria rejoiced as the Department of Sanitation announced it would restore cleaning/alternate side parking regulations in the area for the first time in decades starting Sept. 16.
DSNY distributed flyers to Astoria residents alerting them to the new regulations, which help clean the area bordered by Astoria Park South (included in the street cleaning) from Shore Boulevard to 21st Street, 21st Street (not included) from Astoria Park South/Hoyt Avenue South to Broadway, Broadway (included) from 21st Street to Vernon Boulevard and the East River from Broadway to Astoria Park South
The Old Astoria Neighborhood Association has rallied for street cleaning in the area for two decades. Refuse consistently piled up on at least a dozen sections of street in the area, OANA President Richard Khuzami told the Eagle last month.
“The majority of the streets were not clean, it’s unsightly in certain areas,” Khuzami told the Eagle at the time, adding that the lack of street cleaning signage also provided zero incentive for drivers to leave their parking spots once there, enabling vehicles to sit in the same spot for months at a time.
DSNY had been in talks with OANA in the past about street cleaning, but Khuzami said that residents were upset because the agency initially insisted on cleaning the streets twice a week per side, rather than just once a week per side. But an organized community street cleanup that yielded 200 bags of refuse in just a few hours led the DSNY to approve the street cleaning for once a week per side.
“That’s what it takes sometimes to get things done,” Khuzami told the Eagle. “We’ve been advocating this for 20 years, so we’re very, very happy this has happened,” he added.