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Constantinides Announces Plan to Make Queens More Accessible, Part of Borough President Campaign

(Council Member Costa Constantinides announces plan to make Queens more accessible at Hunters Point Library Tuesday)

Oct. 22, 2019. By Shane O’Brien 

Council Member Costa Constantinides announced a plan Tuesday to make all public spaces in Queens accessible to the elderly, people with disabilities and parents with strollers as part of his campaign to be Queens Borough President.

Constantinides, who announced last month that he is running for borough president, would require public spaces such as libraries and subways to be ADA compliant. He said that if he were borough president he would also act as an MTA watchdog and ensure that subway stations are made accessible to all users.

Constantinides held a press conference to announce his plan yesterday at the newly constructed Hunters Point Library in Long Island City. The $40 million library, he noted, includes floors inaccessible to people who use a wheel chair or who have difficulty climbing stairs.

“If we’re going to say Queens is for everyone, we should mean it,” Constantinides said. “Sadly, we far too often see multi-million dollar renovations to subway stations or new libraries that don’t consider the challenges some might face in accessing them.”

Constantinides’s plan would require all capital investments in parks, libraries and schools to include funds to ensure accessibility. He also announced that he would appoint an “Accessibility Coordinator” if elected, who would oversee all work and identify public facilities that pose challenges for people with disabilities, seniors and parents.

Constantinides also noted that there was a need for greater oversight of the MTA in Queens, criticizing the MTA for “poor planning” in relation to recent station renovations and failing to make them accessible.

He condemned the MTA for failing to install elevators when it made recent upgrades at some stations in Astoria. Additionally, he said the agency was guilty of poor planning that has needlessly disrupted residents and businesses.

For instance, when the MTA overhauled the Broadway N/W station between July 2018 and January 2019–and closed the station– it did not include elevators.

The MTA recently announced that it would close the Broadway station again to add elevators as part of its 2020-2024 Capital Plan.

Constantinides said that as borough president he would ensure that renovations are done right the first time around to minimize disruptions.

The Council Member is one of many candidates vying for borough president.

Council Members Van Bramer and Donovan Richards have announced they are running as well as Assembly Member Alicia Hyndman and former Council Member Elizabeth Crowley.

Other contenders are likely to come forward.

The seat is likely to be vacated by current Borough President Melinda Katz in January. She is running to be the next Queens District Attorney and is expected to cruise to victory in the November general election.

The city will hold a special election for Queens Borough President within 45 days of Katz’s vacancy.

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21 Comments

Maluana Karenga

They vote for this dope to be borough president your asking for trouble. Want queens to turn into a dump?? Vote this guy in. Our job killer senator is laughing stock of the community

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Brian

Is he going to take on the unions to bring coats down to a reasonable level? If not this is all nonsense. No way to pay for the Billions it would cost for the subways to be ADA

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Mac

Brian – What about price gauging contractors and legions of consultants, who by the way are all related.

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Astoria Blvd Man

To all the people with the Thumbs Down, can you tell me what Costa did for Astoria that helped everybody. I have no kids nor do I have any relatives in Astoria Houses. I live far from Astoria Park. Basically he has done nothing for me. The one thing I asked about, helicopters, he wouldn’t lift a finger. Paul Vallone crushed him on that issue. I hope he gets killed in the primary.

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Porter

If you can’t see why educating the kids of your community well benefits you directly, then I can understand why you’d be confused by all the thumbs down.

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Hollingnx

I’m with Astoria Blvd Man, sorry Porter. I don’t have kids as well so I can’t worry about every kid in the area. I take it you do have kids so that means it’s right for you so it must be right for everybody. That is the definition of selfishness.

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Never Left Astoria

Ironic announcement is in front of JVB 40 million library. We need to vote these career politicians out

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Never Left Astoria

Nice – he announces his big plan at Jimmy Van Bramer’s 42 million dollar library.

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Joanna

The face of the democratic party has changed in Queens. And its a lot harder for a straight white older male to appeal to some “trendy” movements. Perhaps, he needs to say something like that he once had a gay experience in college or that he was bullied for being chubby when he was younger for new voters to care.

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jenasoriat

Joanna friend, I think maybe you got that last bit backwards. It’s the community issues that matter, not body shaming a candidate. In this case, the important issue is lack of full access to a $40m public building and most of the subway stations in Queens. If you aren’t mobile, then maybe it would be more obvious how important this issue is. I’m glad to see it finally be recognized. But probably you would just like some attention, so here it is. Being an advocate for a good cause is an alternative way to get attention. That’s something.

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Pat Macnamara

Clueless Costa and his trusty podium. Why not let your track record speak for itself? Stooping to new lows to FINALLY include those who are elderly and/or disabled as part of his platform. You had your chance when 4 stations in Astoria were closed 8 months for renovations. Nothing was done to upgrade them for those who are disabled or elderly. You stood there with your trusty podium saying how your hands were tied. What about the elderly woman robbed on the platform of the 46th street station? You said and did nothing when that happened. A clueless political hack whose major accomplishments are highlighted by the opening of a dog run under a bridge.

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Pat Macnamaracist you make a great point

Costa should comment on every crime that ever happens in Queens

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Pat Macnamara

No one said that. He should make an effort to address the uptick in crime instead of solar panels and the sudden love affair with the disabled.

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jenastoriat

If you take a look back at the Astoria Post archive you will find that Costa has been confronting this issue for some time. I think there was even some sort of rally about the lack of elevators back when then construction started or so. Of course it’s clear that the comment was just about complaining about Costa because he’s a democrat, but at least get the basic facts right. Okay. Thanks.

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Pat Macnamara

No you are wrong the comment is about him being ineffective. You’re right there isn’t a photo op he won’t miss with his trusty podium-but he DOES NOTHING. Sure he stood there and said we need elevators. Your or I could have done that with the exact same results! It has nothing to do with political party. He is a career political hack-your defense of him is clearly knee jerk. He is useless. Look at Steinway street-at the homeless encampments, garbage everywhere. There are mopeds driving the wrong way on sidewalks through red lights. Complaints to his office do nothing. keep defending him though.

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Born and raised Astoria resident

Do I have a dog for the dog run? Nope. Do I need an elevator to get up stairs? Nope. Do I have kids? Nope. Most of the things being discussed didn’t benefit me however part of being in a community is not stopping something that helps your neighbor…even if it doesn’t benefit you. My understanding is that Costa had a budget, allowed the residents to decide how a portion of that budget should be spent and it was decided democratically across the residents with a vote. It’s more than I recall any other person doing in his position. If you didn’t partake in the voting, get involved if you’re not happy. Typing on AstoriaPost does nothing to change things…get out there and make a difference… as long as it helps people as opposed to tearing them down.

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Bill

Make all public spaces and subway stations ADA compliant?

Very noble campaign promise, but that’s all it is… a campaign promise. The basic question is: who is going to pay the billions of dollars this will cost. Instead of proposing something realistic that actually might work, Constantinidis thinks voters will fall for pie in the sky promises. This sort of nonsense does not reflect well on his honesty and leadership.

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jenastoriat

Actually, it’s the law and has been for some time. It’s called the American’s with Disabilities Act. NYC is largely out of compliance and could be fined.

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Taxes pay for it

the way they paid for upgrading all subway stations ever.

more questions?

Where are you getting your figures from, I just assume they’re a complete fabrication?

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