Ulmer Street in College Point has a new “Speed Bump” sign, but State Senator Tony Avella is calling the city’s bluff.
“It’s not a speed bump,” he said last week, “it’s that the road is collapsing!”
The center of the street is raised and cracked, with cars bottoming out as they slowly make their way over the sunken road. Pools of water collect on either side, making parking nearly impossible.
According to Avella, the entire road system around the corporate park in College Point has serious infrastructure issues and must be reconstructed. The Economic Development Corporation (EDC) built roads a decade ago that are not adequate to handle the huge increase in traffic in the area.
“They built it because they were in a rush to get the development in the corporate park, and as a result, it’s terrible,” Avella said. “And it’s been like this for maybe ten years. When is it going to stop? When are they going to fix this?”
For local residents, the traffic problems have become overwhelming.
“The quality of life has really gone down because of all of the traffic,” Avella said. “Okay, you built this, it’s an economic boom for the city. Put some of that money back to have some major traffic improvements and fix the roads.”
Avella hopes to conduct a meeting with Department of Transportation Commissioner (DOT) Polly Trottenberg, the president of the EDC and the state DOT commissioner in order to discuss investing money in not only rebuilding Ulmer Street, but also looking into reworking the road system around the entire corporate park.
The senator guessed that the city and state would have to pay $20 million just to rebuild Ulmer Street.
For the locals paying some of the highest property taxes in the country, however, Avella said that road improvements are necessary and deserved.
“It’s not fair for the 100,000 residents on each side to have to deal with this,” he said.