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About $1 million to be Spent on Road Repairs and Schools in District

A participatory budgeting voter and volunteer (Photo: Costa Constantinides/Twitter)

April 25, 2018 By Tara Law

Residents voted to spend $250,000 on road repairs and install a new STEM lab at a local school, along with two other projects, when they went to the polls last month to determine how $1 million of city capital should be spent in the district through a process called participatory budgeting.

Councilmember Costa Constantinides announced the four winning projects that will be funded at a thank-you party for volunteers last night.

Participatory budgeting allows residents to decide how to spend a portion of the city council’s budget for the district.

About 3,300 residents of the 22nd Council District— which encompasses Astoria, East Elmhurst, and parts of Long Island City and Woodside— voted on 12 participatory budgeting proposals between April 7 and 15.

The proposal which received the most votes—1,667 in all— was $250,000 for road repair and resurfacing. The NYC Department of Transportation will decide exact locations based on roadway needs.

The second most popular project was a new STEM lab at I.S. 141, which is located at 37-11 21st Ave. A total of 1,658 voters chose to provide the school–at a cost approaching $300,000– with tools for chemistry, biology and math, robotics equipment, circuitry, engineering, 3D printing, programming and design.

A total of 1,637 voters also decided to dedicate $300,000 to improving children’s rooms in District 22 libraries.

Finally, 1,395 voters decided to designate $150,000 to install lighting at Astoria Houses Community Center. Lighting will be installed at the center’s entrance and extra lighting will be added to its entryways, hallways and stairwells.

Constantinides said that funding for the four projects will be allocated this June, and then they will go through a scoping, procurement and construction process over the following two years.

The councilmember said that he was pleased the community turned out to vote despite the chilly weather.

“For me it’s never about what wins, it’s about making the process as robust as possible,” said Constantinides.

For those who feel dissatisfied with the results, he said, there is still hope.

“If somebody is unhappy with the options, they should come out next year,” Constantinides said.

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Astoria ditmars is ruined. Move out. All these retailors coming in, it’s bananas. This neighborhood gone to sht

James M.

I am glad to see the road repair funding proceeding. However, it is not enough. There are some one way streets that could use work, but the ones in dire need are the two-way 19th and 21st avenues. They are impossible to drive through. It is sad to see such neglect and poor planning on the construction and half-ass repaving particularly on 19th avenue, destroying not only the bike lane, but the numerous suspension systems, wheels and tires of motorists that need to deal with it.

On another note, why do we have a traffic light at EVERY SINGLE INTERSECTION on Ditmars Blvd. and 23rd Avenue? It is a traffic congestion nightmare, and yet another example of poor planning. I would think Stop signs are sufficient, but apparently our population is too illiterate or stupid to know what Stop means, so we use colored lights.

Never Left Astoria

21st Avenue work needs to be finished already. Driving there is like a war zone


Traffic is a nightmare whether there is construction work going on or not! Wait until they start construction on the Ditmars Blvd Station. All the trash from the south has been pushed into Northern Astoria.


Spend some money on helping all the poor people in Astoria living in the public housing and the older homes and buildings! The markets and the retailers are only focusing on those that visit the area and the few paying ridiculous rent in the new developments while residents struggle to get by.


I feel bad for all the homeless shelter residents around here also. I am glad a dollar tree store is opening up on 20th Ave. It might be the start to a whole new development of housing and stores in the area.


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