Sept. 14, 2018 By Tara Law
A number of civic leaders are hosting a clean up in Astoria Sunday– as they call on the Sanitation Department to introduce street cleaning in order to tidy up several garbage-strewn streets.
The organizers— the Old Astoria Neighborhood Association, Family Church, Astoria Houses Residents Association and Council Member Costa Constantinides— aim to press the Sanitation Department to sweep the streets of the western section of Astoria twice a week
Volunteers will gather to share a free lunch at 12:00 p.m. at Family Church, located at 26-13 18th St.
The cleaners will break into five groups, which will be assigned to streets between Hallets Point and Socrates Sculpture Park. The volunteers will then reconvene at the Church at 3:30 p.m.
Richard Khuzami, president of the Old Astoria Neighborhood Association, said that street cleaning would have two major benefits for the neighborhood— making the streets cleaner and compelling cars parked in the area for weeks or months at a time to move.
However, Khuzami said, under the Department of Sanitation’s current policy, the streets would need to be cleaned four times a week (twice on each side), which would inconvenience neighborhood residents by forcing them to move their cars too frequently.
In August 2016, Khuzami’s group sent a petition to the Department of Sanitation specifying that the community wanted the streets cleaned twice a week. However, the cleaning was never put in place because the department insisted that it was its policy to clean similar streets four times weekly.
Sunday’s street cleaning event is intended to persuade the Department to reconsider the proposal to clean the streets twice a week, Khuzami said.
The policy would be a “perfect compromise, not disrupting people’s lifestyles,” said Khuzami.
Bags, brooms, and gloves for the project will be donated by R and R General Supply, which is located at 1807 Astoria Blvd.