Roosevelt to get New Deal

Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras (c.) presents her "7 Points Under the 7 Train" to clean Roosevelt Avenue. Small Business Services Commissioner Robert Walsh (l.-r.), Deputy Mayor Howard Wolfson, Borough President Helen Marshall, Queens DOT Commissioner Delilah Hall and Sanitation Commissioner John Doherty join her. Photo by Rebecca Henely
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Continuing her work of several years to improve Roosevelt Avenue, City Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras (D-East Elmhurst) joined with city officials and community leaders Tuesday to unveil a seven-point plan to make the strip cleaner, brighter and safer.

“Our community deserves better and we are getting better,” Ferreras said.

At the church Iglesia Aliento de Vida, at 103-24 Roosevelt Ave. in Corona, Ferreras laid out her “New Deal for Roosevelt Avenue” as well as thanking Deputy Mayor Howard Wolfson, city Sanitation Commissioner John Doherty, Deputy Queens Transportation Commissioner Delilah Hall and city Small Businesses Services Commissioner Robert Walsh for their partnership in the already-changing thoroughfare.

“Today I’m happy to see many of these dreams become reality,” Ferreras said.

The councilwoman’s vision incorporated some changes that already had been put in action or will be in the near-future. Ferreras said she funded more than double the previous amount of trash pickups from the city Sanitation Department, $500,000 in capital money to the city Department of Transportation for more lighting and $500,000 to the NYPD for cameras throughout the district.

She has also advocated for a rezoning for Roosevelt Avenue which would make the south side of the street commercial from 90th to 114th streets. While businesses have gone in there for decades, the area is still residential.

Finally, Ferreras mentioned the changes to Corona Plaza on Roosevelt and 104th Street, which was converted into an open space with chairs and tables where it was once a heavily congested parking lot.

“This used to be full of moving trucks and all types of things,” Ferreras said. “We didn’t know what was going on there.”

But the seven-point plan also included future projects. Ferreras said the 82nd Street Partnership, a business improvement district, would be expanding along Roosevelt Avenue to 114th Street. She is also planning to create a task force to fight the prostitution and illegal businesses on the avenue.

“Roosevelt Avenue is not just about the things that go wrong here,” she said.

Both Wolfson and Walsh said Ferreras got them more involved in improving Roosevelt by taking them on tours of the neighborhood.

“We’ve begun to make the kind of changes in this community that all of you want to see, that Julissa wants to see and that she insisted on,” Wolfson said.

Reach reporter Rebecca Henely by e-mail at or by phone at 718-260-4564.

Updated 12:23 am, March 22, 2013
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