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Ferreras touts plans to improve streets and tourism

City Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras (second from r.) talks to audience members before her State of the District speech. Photo by Rebecca Henely
TimesLedger Newspapers

City Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras (D-East Elmhurst) advocated for better streets and for making the neighborhoods she represents a destination at her State of the District address last Thursday.

“We are in a state of transformation,” Ferreras said, “but I believe the state of our district is strong and it gets stronger every day.”

Speaking at the Langston Hughes Library, at 100-01 Northern Blvd. in Corona, Ferreras discussed what was coming to the neighborhoods of East Elmhurst, Corona, Elmhurst and Jackson Heights as well as work she had done over the past year.

Much of the councilwoman’s speech centered around how to better the quality of life on the streets in her district and encourage economic development.

“The condition of many of our streets is unacceptable and I’m really upset,” she said.

One public area will be getting a major improvement. She said that in 2014 construction will begin on revamping Corona Plaza, at Roosevelt Avenue and National Street.

“It will be beautiful and our community deserves a state-of-the-art plaza,” Ferreras said.

She also spoke about the 82nd Street Business Improvement District getting a new leader, the installation of 14 new trash cans along Roosevelt Avenue, an upcoming community survey on how safe the streets are for women, plans to create a new business corridor and affordable housing along Astoria Boulevard and new sewer system currently being installed at Willets Point.

Ferreras said a rezoning of East Elmhurst is in the works and encouraged residents to call with what they want to see in the community.

“We need your input,” she said.

The councilwoman also came out for making the neighborhoods a tourist destination. With many attractions such as Citi Field, the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center and the Louis Armstrong House in the neighborhood, Ferreras said it was distressing how few tourism dollars come back to Corona.

She said she would be sponsoring a restaurant week in the district and encouraged residents to promote as well as explore their own neighborhoods.

“We are here because we care about and love this community,” Ferreras said.

She also called for improvements to Flushing Bay and urged residents to call 311 to complain about any bad smells coming from the waterfront. She said the city should work toward making it an attraction.

“We have this great waterfront we’re just not using in an adequate way,” she said.

Ferreras talked about her advocacy for women’s issues and for the community in the Council as well as trying to fix the long-time problem of overcrowding in the school districts in northwest Queens. She said in addition to PS 287 in Corona, which recently broke ground. Three other schools are coming to her district: PS 311 in Corona, PS 315 in East Elmhurst and another school at a location to be determined.

“This year we have made great strides to address the perennial problem of overcrowding,” she said.

Reach reporter Rebecca Henely by e-mail at rhenely@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4564.

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