(Astoria, NY) Senator Michael Gianaris is thrilled the United States Department of Transportation granted New York City’s request for a $25 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) Grant to help make Vision Zero a reality. Included among the beneficiary schools of the funding are local schools PS 199 in Long Island City and PS 239 in Ridgewood. Senator Gianaris, an early and avid supporter of Mayor de Blasio’s Vision Zero agenda, wrote a letter of support for the grant application in April and looks forward to new traffic safety improvements coming to Queens, particularly in school zones.
“This TIGER grant money is great news for all of us who believe in Vision Zero,” said Senator Gianaris. “I have worked with DOT on countless traffic safety initiatives and am encouraged to see the Federal Government recognize the worthiness of our cause. This grant money will immediately go towards implementing desperately needed traffic safety measures, including at schools in Long Island City, Ridgewood and Woodhaven.”
Senator Gianaris joined Congressman Joe Crowley, Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas, parents and students at PS 85 to continue to fight for peaceful classrooms free from noise caused by passing trains. Check out this CBS News report for more details.
Senator Gianaris attended the kickoff of Queens' first Bike-Friendly Business District in Sunnyside, and the Sunnyside Post has the details. Click here to read how Senator Gianaris is working to make western Queens bike-friendly.
Senator Michael Gianaris released the following statement regarding a possible deal to revive and expand Citibike.
"As news of a possible deal to revive and expand Citibike inches closer to becoming a reality, I renew my commitment to fighting for the inclusion of our neighborhoods in this innovative program. As a result of our hard work since bike share's debut, the DOT promised to include Astoria, Long Island City and Sunnyside in the next phases of expansion. I will work to ensure that those promises are kept no matter the details of any coming deal. Western Queens remains home to some of the most bike friendly neighborhoods in the city, and some of the most underserved by mass transit, making our community perfect for Citibike," said Senator Gianaris.
“It is good to see DOT continue to make good on its pledge to get serious about improving street safety in Queens,” said State Sen. Michael Gianaris. “For years it seemed our pleas for safer streets would fall on deaf ears, but Mayor de Blasio’s Vision Zero has brought results to the streets of western Queens,” Gianaris added.
Senator Gianaris joined Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas and Queens District Attorney Richard Brown to celebrate passage through both the Senate and Assembly of their bill getting tough on persistent sexual abusers.
“I take special pride in participating in the annual Iftar Ramadan dinner in Astoria. Along with Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas and Councilman Costa Constantinides, I believe that the diversity of our neighborhood is something to be celebrated, and this event is a great example of what our community has to offer,” said Gianaris. “I thank the Queens Muslim community for allowing me to be a part of this special night and I look forward to continuing our work together on behalf of our community.”
Senator Michael Gianaris celebrated recent improvements in our transit system, saying, "The extension of the Q19 and the streamlining of the Q102 are welcome improvements for western Queens residents. Western Queens was hit hard by the drastic MTA service cuts of 2010, and I've fought since then to get the MTA to see that our growing community needs more public transit options, not less. I'm glad to see we are regaining some service we never should have lost, but even happier to see the MTA taking steps to keep up with our fast-growing neighborhoods."
Senator Michael Gianaris honored World War II veteran, Queensbridge resident and community fixture John D. Smith Sr. as an inductee into the New York State Senate Veteran’s Hall of Fame, which is designed to pay tribute to New Yorkers whose gallantry in the U.S. Armed Forces is complemented by service to their communities. Senator Gianaris presented Mr. Smith with a commemorative plaque at the Jacob A. Riis Neighborhood Settlement house in Queensbridge Houses.
(Albany, NY) Senator Michael Gianaris hailed the Senate passage of the Gianaris/Aubry Queens Library Reform Bill (S.6893-B), which will now move to the desk of Governor Cuomo, who is expected to sign the bill into law.
“I am thrilled the Senate so overwhelmingly passed my bill and look forward to it becoming law so we can end the abuses that plagued our library system,” said Senator Gianaris. “Once enacted, my bill will rein in the excesses revealed in recent reports and provide a long-term blueprint for an efficient, transparent and accountable library system of which every Queens resident can be proud. I am thankful for the way just about everyone in Queens came together to fight for these much-needed reforms, which says a lot about our borough’s desire for transparency and accountability when it comes to public funds.”
Following the news that the Steinway Mansion has been sold, Senator Gianaris told the TimesLedger that “the Steinway Mansion is an integral part of our neighborhood’s rich cultural history. Like many of my neighbors in Astoria, I hope that whoever made this purchase has an appreciation for the Steinway Mansion’s importance to the community and bearing that in mind, finds a way to allow public access to the neighborhood landmark.”
(Astoria, NY) Senator Michael Gianaris took pride in announcing a major step forward in the deconstruction of the Charles Poletti Power Plant in Astoria. For the first time in recent memory, smokestacks have been eliminated from western Queens after the New York Power Authority (NYPA) has removed the second of the power plant’s two smokestacks, as deconstruction of the entire facility continues. The deconstruction of the aging, inefficient and less clean power plant, which used outdated technology from the 1970s, is the result of an agreement between the community and NYPA reached after years of tireless work by Senator Gianaris, Queens leaders and community groups.
“The smokestacks of the Poletti power plant were symbols of the pollution that haunted our neighborhood for too long, and I am happy to see them go,” said Senator Gianaris. “The progress we have made improving our air quality is a key reason so many New Yorkers are coming to western Queens to live and work. More remains to be done in terms of rooting out pollution, but the deconstruction of the Poletti plant is a major milestone in taking our neighborhoods from being plagued by smokestacks to the family-friendly communities full of green space and parks to which we aspire.”