“I motion to accept this lovely plan,” a Community Board 4 board member said on Tuesday night.
The Corona Plaza plan will close the one block stretch of 41st Avenue that only runs between National and 104th streets and would provide seating, tables, umbrellas, bike racks and greenery. The motion passed unanimously, with one abstention.
The Department of Transportation plans to install a temporary plaza in July, until a permanent one can be put in place in a couple of years, according to NYC Plaza Program Director Vaidila Kungys.
Corona Plaza comes with the support of the Corona Community Action Network, Queens Museum of Art — which will provide programming for the plaza — and Flushing Willets Point Corona LDC, as well as Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras (D-East Elmhurst).
“It’s so we have a nice place to sit and a place to be proud of,” Ferreras said. “Corona in Spanish means crown. I will be proud to wear the crown of the neighborhood.”
Ferreras said cleanliness of the area has become an issue. A maintenance contract that comes with the plaza has business owners “very excited,” according to a spokesman for Ferreras.
In Astoria a plan to shut down a portion of Newtown Avenue to create a plaza was met with objections from the business community.
Conversely in Corona, a spokesman said Ferreras talked to many business owners who were pleased with the plan. The 26 parking spots, which would be eliminated, don’t hurt the businesses because delivery trucks use the spots to park.
“It’s a bit of a parking lot,” said one board member.
Nevertheless, someone from Crystal Liquors on National Street posted on the Corona Plaza Facebook page “Do NOT eliminate public parking for customers! Get rid of all moving trucks and commercial vehicles and taxis that monopolize all the parking.”
The Facebook page has 34 “likes.”
One issue brought up at the meeting was the homeless population using the seating as a place to stay. Kungys said this would be mitigated at night because the chairs and tables will be put away.
Another board member said pigeons defecating on pedestrians in the area has also become an issue. Kungys said the DOT would have to work on the problem with the MTA.
The NYC Plaza Program is a part of the city’s effort to ensure that all New Yorkers are within a 10-minute walking distance to a public space.