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Queens Chronicle

Astoria streets have a hole lot of problems

Councilman introduces pothole bill that hopes to ensure efficient filling

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Posted: Thursday, March 13, 2014 10:30 am

It is now common for drivers to slow down when traveling along a busy corridor, bracing themselves for the thuds and bumps that result from the almost inescapable potholes.

Councilman Costa Constantinides (D-Astoria) has drafted a bill that would require potholes to be filled within five days after a report is filed with 311.

“This bill is, at its heart, a good government bill,” Costa said at a press conference on Friday. “It will give peace of mind to those that call 311 that potholes will be repaired within a five-day time frame demonstrating our responsiveness to their call. The Department of Transportation data shows that we have been able to fill potholes effectively despite the harsh winter. Intro. 53 would codify good practices and set our expectations high for years to come.”

Intro. 53 is the councilman’s first piece of legislation, and he noted the importance of keeping Astoria a quality place to live.

The conference was held at the intersection of Hoyt Avenue and 31st Street, one of the area’s busiest corners, where streets are littered with potholes and uneveness.

“Potholes and road maintenance are one of the top issues that I keep hearing from my fellow community members,” Robert Piazza, chairman of Community Board 1’s Transportation Committee, said. “It’s clear that we need to set a guideline and make sure that all potholes are filled quickly. The recent snowstorms and freezing temperatures are surely creating more potholes than usual. We appreciate Councilman Constantinides’ efforts to help the community find a solution.”

Constantinides commended Mayor de Blasio for his recent “pothole blitz” announcement and added that the city has worked hard to fill holes quickly, sometimes within a day or two. The newly introduced bill is in no way a response to the mayor’s plan, according to the councilman, but rather acts as extra insurance for the future that damaged roads will get their due repairs.

“I know that our city can fill potholes in a consistent and expeditious manner,” Carol Scarano, Democratic district leader for Assembly District 36, said. “This bill works to help our residents, pedestrians and drivers. If we want a world-class city we need world-class infrastructure.”

Constantinides also introduced two other bills.

One, Intro. 54, would mandate that city ferries be powered by ultra low sulfur diesel fuel blend with at least 5 percent biodiesel by July 1 of this year and with 20 percent biodiesel by January 2020.

Intro. 52 requires all public waste receptacles be emptied by the Department of Sanitation at least once per day.

“These represent many of the things that people have talked to me about and this is my way of making sure the government is working for them,” Constantinides said. “I want to show that government can make changes and does listen to constituents, which is why I felt these three bills would be a great way to hit the ground running and make some improvements for our community. We need to continue making strides and these bills complement what we already want to achieve.”

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