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Boro president plans clean-up of Queens Blvd.

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Borough President Helen Marshall met with borough heads of the Sanitation, Transportation and Parks departments last Thursday to coordinate efforts to clean up the medians along Queens Boulevard, which have become overgrown with tall weeds and littered with trash in some areas.

“We’d been getting a number of complaints about the general deterioration of the islands on parts of Queens Boulevard,” said Dan Andrews, a spokesman for Marshall. “The borough president wanted to bring the three agencies together in the same room to find out who was responsible for what.”

Andrews said the cleanup of litter on Queens Boulevard medians was expected to take place in the next few weeks, while a weed-eradication program and the cleanup of Astoria and Merrick boulevards was being planned for early spring.

In some spots, weeds at the ends of median islands had grown as tall as a person, blocking the views of pedestrians and drivers, Andrews said.

Since 1973 79 pedestrians have died on Queens Boulevard, including one this year.

At the meeting, borough officials decided that the Department of Sanitation would be responsible for cleaning traffic islands and medians that were unlandscaped. The Department of Parks and Recreation would clean traffic islands and medians that were landscaped, and the Department of Transportation would clean the remaining property along the roadway.

In addition to her effort to clean up the medians, Marshall was also trying to coordinate with the Police Department to institute a policy by which drivers who damage median fencing would be responsible for the cost of fencing repairs, Andrews said.

“Say there’s an incident where a car goes up on the median, taking about five car lengths of fencing, maybe 30 feet of fencing. They would like to be able to be compensated for the cost of installing new fencing,” Andrews said.

With the new system, the Police Department would provide city officials with the license plate number of the driver who had damaged the fencing and the city would bill the driver for repairs.

Fencing along the medians of Queens Boulevard was put up a few years ago to improve safety by preventing jaywalking.

Reach reporter Tien-Shun Lee by e-mail at Timesledger@aol.com, or call 229-0300, ext. 155.

Updated 10:26 am, October 12, 2011
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