Aug. 7, 2018 By Tara Law
The Department of Transportation is currently in the process of implementing changes to Steinway Street to make the retail strip more pedestrian-friendly, a DOT spokesperson said Monday.
The department has installed three mid-block crosswalks and delayed-traffic signals in recent weeks. The department also plans to install curb extension markings later this summer.
The aim of the project is to calm traffic on Steinway Street and to help pedestrians cross the street with greater ease. Prior to the installation of the crossings, there were no mid-block crosswalks on Steinway Street, where the blocks can be along as 1,000 feet.
The change helps pedestrians get to restaurants and stores more safely and expeditiously, said Councilmember Costa Constantinides, who advocated for the changes. He added that business owners along the corridor have pressed the DOT to modify Steinway Street for at least a decade.
“The goal is to continue to support Steinway Street and support business owners as much as we can,” Constantinides said.
The mid-block crossings were installed on Steinway between 30th and 31st Avenues; 31st Avenue and Broadway; and Broadway and 34th Avenue, the DOT said.
Constantinides said that he is also working with businesses to choose a location for a pedestrian plaza on Steinway Street. Installation of a plaza would be part of a separate project, he said.
I am still waiting for an explanation. What is pedestrian friendly? Is that another way of saying LGBTQ-P friendly?
Pedestrian friendly, Hahahahahahaha.. Councilman Constantinedes is a myopic fool. Haven’t you heard of Amazon, greedy landlords, and demographics. . You could put ten traffic signals on Steinway Street, nothing will change. Vision Zero, and pedestrian friendly are two crocks of poop. Most pedestrians cross the street while texting, talking on their phones, with ear phones on, or listening to music. Unless a car jumps the curb, as an adult you have to be a total idiot to get hit by a car. The one sided mundane approach by simpleton politicians for pedestrian safety sucks.
Good idea for pedestrians but the traffic? ?? Already congested and lack of parking due to everlasting street construction, bike lanes and Citibikes. Back in the good ‘ol days we were constantly eating and shopping on Steinway. Jenny’s pizza…15 cents a slice. By the way, parking was a problem then too!
Well, do you still do your shopping on Steinway and if you don’t where do you shop?
It also sounds like parking was always a problem, no matter how many parking spots there were. If people want parking, shop at a suburban strip mall.
Hysterical. The above comment, likely made by a ‘car person’ who naturally wants to attack all cyclists (surely, there are bad cyclists out there who don’t obey traffic laws, just as there are bad drivers. Does that mean we should eliminate all bike lanes, all roads, and not allow either bikes OR cars on our streets? Yeah, didn’t think so…)
Either way, the REAL problem on Steinway is CAR people who double-park with complete abandon, and the DoT / police do NOTHING about it. I’ve often seen private CARS idling or even PARKED in MTA bus stops!! Talk about self-centered?
Far too many car-owners have this idea that it’s their ‘right’ to have a private car…their ‘right’ to have sufficient parking spots available for their family’s often MULTIPLE cars, etc. Having a car is a massive privilege, not a right. Not to mention how many people now own SUVs to hold all their ‘junk’, and which just clog our streets, block the view of pedestrians and other drivers, and are gas-guzzlers, not to mention hogs of parking spaces.
It’s funny how back in the day a family of six could comfortably travel out of state in their station wagon with all their stuff. Now it seems, every individual feels the need for an SUV to transport themselves with all their ‘stuff’ from their ‘shopping trips’. People have become so self-centered and disgusting with their habits, not caring one iota about others, or the environment for that matter.
Liz Evers, you make almost no sense.
Midtowngirl, 15 cents for a slice of pizza you must be 100 years old.
I think Steinway street would do well with more chain stores, fast-casual dining and parking garages/lots. Also, what about the issues with double-parked cars between Astoria blvd. and 28th avenue?
I think they need to add more cafes and restaurants on Steinway to appeal to residents and visitors. The same way they do on Steinway between 28th Ave and Astoria Blvd S. They even build a school on that block. They are one of the few areas in Astoria that actually tries to cater to the neighborhood. They are a growing population and the future of Astoria’s long term residents.
LMAO “cater to the neighborhood” haha that’s a good one!
Steinway looks plain ugly. I stopped shopping there years ago for the most part. It’s just cheap junk stores now and some boring chains. The change of the Gap to an outlet store is another side of a downward slide. The Merchant’s group (assuming there is one) needs to do more than put up old Christmas decorations and canned carols if this street is going to be saved. Crosswalks are needed, but the street itself has been dying for awhile.
Has anyone thought of when the holidays hit and the traffic this will make on Steinway backing it up for miles. Nothing will move cause every few feet there will be a stop light. I think this is crazy. People cross in the middle of the street and they will still cross in the middle of the street. I have lived in Astoria for 28 years and I have never had any problems crossing the street. I agree with everyone here, Steinway has gone down the dumps. Stores always going out of business. It’s just not the destination you want to go for shopping anymore.
Steinway Street is a dump, dirty, empty storefronts, what shops that are open are useless, for the most part.
The business owners who pressed to have Steinway street improved were probably priced out by greedy landlords over the last few years. Now Steinway street is a haven for the homeless and petty criminals…
Too little, too late. There are currently 40 store vacancies on Steinway street (I counted) starting from Broadway to Astoria Blvd. This is happening all over the country to mom and pop retailers and they’re calling it the “Amazon Retail Massacre” and “Retail Apocalypse”. Only the big name retailers will survive and I think once Target & Marshall’s opens in Ditmars, that will be the final nail in the coffin for the Steinway shopping strip. Most of those vacancies will eventually get filled by restaurants, cafe’s & offices.
Perfect example is the above article. The old Payless will become the new Chipotle. Most of Steinway street will eventually change to restaurants, bars, cafes, etc. Other than big name chain stores, brick & mortar retail is done.
I am not going to be eating at Chipotle in any case, but that’s not going to fix Steinway’s problems. Big retail is actually the wrong answer. What would make Steinway a real ‘destination’ is small, local owned businesses. When it’s done right, with quality and diverse shops and such, not junk stores and cheapo clothing.
Amazon is part of it, but business can’t compete even with a subway ride to Manhattan when the stuff they carry is junk, the storefront is dirty and cluttered, and the cracked sidewalk is covered in gum, cigarette butts and other garbage and the street itself is grim and gray .
I do not think focusing on Steinway as a shopping destination is where the strategy should be. People do not generally go out “shopping” anymore. They do go to restaurants, cafes, bars, gyms, karate and yoga…etc.
It would probably be beneficial to convert some of these unnecessary buildings into parking garages. Even with monthly parking for residents.
Also, less garbage, more trees and no double parking.
How much do you think the city should pay to tear down some stores to make way for more parking? I guarantee that those landlords will hold out for tens of millions of dollars.
How about you to places like Target in College point , or Bed Bath Beyond in Woodside, or Roosevelt field where parking is free and you don’t have NYC traffic agents hounding to write tickets the second you meter is up.
I’d like to see a mix of old-school shopping (the larger stores that are already there, and tend to cater to either lower-income folks and/or the longer-term residents of Astoria) and new-school shops (such as that found at places like Brass Owl, Lockwood, Inside Astoria, etc.) and which tend to cater to the newer folks in Astoria.
Steinway needn’t be either all lower-level old-school type shops or all new hipster-ish shops. Why can’t it be a mix of the two, just as the population of Astoria itself is?
That’s what I for one love about Astoria…the mix of the old-school and the new-school. I love it all, and surely don’t want to see the old Astoria disappear, and the trend of ‘new luxury apartments’ and new hipster coffeeshops, juice shops, cafes that ask us to ‘Follow Us on Instagram’ etc. to be the new normal here.
They should make it greener too! Add more trees to shade the street would make it nicer to walk down on hot summer days.
I agree 100%. Trees make ANY street look more attractive, not to mention in a place such as NYC, we need all the trees we can get to improve air quality. And yes, as you say, during the summertime, walking down Steinway feels too hot, as there is currently no protection from the sun.
Overall, Steinway Street is a rather ‘depressing’ retail area. Trees would help enormously.
Probably one of the worst decisions to be made. Now driving through I need to stop every 5 seconds, not to mention the J walkers. I really wish they added maybe one but having two on the same block is ridiculous. Very unhappy with this new addition. Steinway died out anyway, theres barley any good stores, and this is coming from someone who works on Steinway.
They’ve only added one crosswalk in the middle of each street, not two. These are long blocks so the stoplights will keep the lead-footed drivers from speeding down the block.
Native New Yorker, so do you think that they should put a few more cross walks on each block? Say like five? That would surely increase foot traffic.
Since the crosswalks have been added, I’ve noticed a great reduction in the long lines of cars that were typically in the street, waiting to move up the block. And surely any folks who were previously ‘jay-walking’ in those crosswalk vicinities now have the luxury of crossing with a bit more ease, and with drivers having to worry less about pedestrians unexpectedly ‘darting out’ in front of them.
As in all things, it takes time for people to adjust. These particular blocks were very long, and so I think adding crosswalks made perfect sense, particularly if we want to make it easier for businesses located in the middle of those blocks, to enable their customers to REACH them more readily.
Its nice that they finally made ut easier for pedestrians. But its a little too late since most stores are going our of business. It would be nice if they found a way to bring business back to stienway street, thats what they really need to do if they want to fix it up.
I think making it more pedestrian-friendly WOULD help bring business back.
WTF is this pedestrian friendly BS, what is wrong with you people? What do you want someone to play with your nut-sack as you walk down the street, or someone to give you a lollipop to suck on? WTF, Steinway Street was booming years ago, all the stores were packed. Yogi Lala was wall to wall packed on the holidays, Papagalos, was packed, Georgios, Fantasy, Army Navy store, etc. etc. Get it thru your heads, Amazon, High rents, is what’s killing Steinway Street. Malls all accross the country are closing. WTFU
Hard to take a comment seriously when you can’t use proper grammar or spell properly.
Now I hope that the street will be cleaned up. Not a pleasant street. Used to go there a lot, but now rarely.Looked awful last time I was there, broken sidewalks, trash, dirty/unmaintained store fronts. What is the business org doing? Should be requiring members to make their shops look decent.
I think the business org is too busy each year with infighting, as they argue over the Christmas playlist for the coming year. lol
God I feel sorry for anyone who is forced to travel (much less LIVE on) that street during the holiday season, and have to listen to incessant ‘Christmas’ music.
I wonder how folks would feel if the mosque down by 28th Ave. were allowed to blare the Call to Prayer five times a day? I’m sure there’d be lots of complaining about that!
But a 24/7 loop of Rudolph the Red-Nosed reindeer for what…. 8 weeks straight? No problemo.
quick question: how many pedestrians will there be if all the stores close because no one can park and shop?
for the suggestion box: every NYC DOT change should be accompanied by a street sign including the name and photo of the person who designed the change.
Who the heck lives in Astoria and DRIVES to Steinway? Seriously, if you do and you are an physically abled person, gets some gdamm exercise and WALK there. Or take a bus. Stop contributing to our polluted air. Enough kids and adults already have asthma. Shesh.
Ain’t that the truth?
Who lives in Astoria and drives to Steinway? Typically any old-school Astoria resident that owns a car. I’ve found that most car owners, esp. the longer-term residents of NYC/Astoria, think it ‘normal’ to just get in their car, to go ANYWHERE. Wanna coffee from Dunkin’ Donuts? Need something from Strauss Hardware? A loaf of Italian from Rose & Joe’s? Yup, let’s start the engine of our gas-guzzling, road-hogging SUVs. Walk?? What’s that you say?? Take the Q101 or Q69? What’s that?? How dare you question my ‘right’ to own a car, demand sufficient parking spaces for my and the rest of my family’s SIX cars, and then drive anywhere and everywhere within a six-block radius! And yeah, your bike lanes are ruining my day, and that of my precious car. Global warming? WHAT global warming?
Now the residential areas will be filled with traffic because cars and trucks will try to avoid all the traffic lights/stops on Steinway!
The sun set on Steinway a long time ago. It is no longer a destination for Astorians to shop. Except for a few major retailers, it is mostly mom and pop stores that have undesirable merchandise. I would welcome a revitalization on Steinway but the the retail store concept has become less relevant. Despite the trend, I think the foot traffic from 30th Ave and Broadway restaurants alone can bring people to Steinway provided there are more desireable stores.
I agree for the most part. I’d like to see a mix of mom-and-pop/old school shops, as well as some newer shops, on Steinway.
It’s unfortunate that no one is smart enough…that’s there not a ‘savvy’ person within the Steinway BID, who can help some of the longer standing businesses ‘get with the times’, in order to remain competitive.
Take for example that big old-school housewares shop…maybe between 30th and 31st Ave or so, on the West side of Steinway? I forget the name of the place, but it’s quite large, and has drapes, curtains, bedsheets etc. in the window.
Anyway, I always like to try and support old-school businesses, and while from the storefront it did not look like it would have ‘my kinda stuff’, I decided to pop-in.
The place felt rather depressed, and, considering the size of the place, didn’t have that much stock. I got the feeling this place is hanging on by the thread (pun intended). Mainly drapes and curtains that would appeal to er…. older folk?… maybe some of the Egyptians and Bangladeshi’s in the nabe? There were maybe two employees in the shop, and perhaps two other people browsing. They also had some housewares such as plates, pots and pans, but nothing exceptional, and that couldn’t be found in many hardware stores or even thrift shops in the area.
If a shop such as this could offer a mix of items, to appeal to both the old-school residents and the newer ‘hipsters’ looking for some housewares, maybe they could survive. If they were really smart, they could develop a social media presence, and post photos of some of their offerings, using hashtags related to ‘Astoria’. They’d also need to update their physical storefront, which right now looks very ‘dated’.
I can see all those “For Sale” signs on Steinway being taken down now. Thanks Costa!
This will make it easier for shoppers to run away from muggers and robbers. Thank you!