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New 34th Avenue Open Street Opposition Group to Hold Rally, Plans Lawsuit

The 34th Avenue Open Street in Jackson Heights (Photo: Christina Santucci)

Oct. 8, 2021 By Max Parrott

A new challenger has entered the ring to fight against Jackson Heights’ 34th Avenue Open Streets program.

The 34OS Resisters United group, a new hardline organization, is fighting to eliminate the Open Streets plan altogether. Some of its members splintered from the 34th Avenue Compromise, a group that formed over the summer to limit the traffic restrictions on the stretch of Jackson Heights corridor, which the Department of Transportation has referred to as the “gold standard” for Open Streets programs.

“The reason why I broke off from Compromise is because I understand that there’ll never be a compromise with the DOT,” said Piper Josephine, the pseudonym of the group’s organizer who declined to make her identity public.

The resisters are holding what they deem “Operation Take Back 34th Avenue March” at 10:45 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 9, which opposes all traffic restrictions on the avenue.

Josephine said that she was planning the rally to draw attention to the cause while the group prepares a class action lawsuit against the city over “issues with access to rides for handicapped people” and “blocking of emergency vehicles,” among other complaints.

Shortly after telling the Queens Post about the plan to launch a class action lawsuit on the record, Josephine and another member of the group called back to request that the lawsuit be kept under wraps because they had decided they weren’t ready to go public yet.

Advocates for the 34th Avenue Open Street have proposed to make the stretch of 34th Avenue from 69th Street to Junction Blvd. a permanent linear park that is aimed at “creating the maximum amount of greenspace” while still providing access to existing driveways and garages.

A petition for the plan had been signed by over 2,500 people in July. It has also gained the approval of Councilman Danny Dromm (D-Jackson Heights) and Shekar Krishnan, the Democratic nominee to succeed him, as well as Democratic mayoral nominee Eric Adams and other Queens electeds. Suraj Jaswal, the Libertarian Party candidate for the Jackson Heights City Council seat, has stated his support for the Resisters.

The DOT has said over the summer that it was collecting feedback over the design proposals for the corridor.

The 34OS Resisters United rally comes ahead of a slated presentation at the upcoming Community Board 3 meeting on Oct. 21 when the DOT will provide an update on the status of the 34th Avenue program.

The plan for the rally is to meet at 81-04 37th Ave. before walking to Dromm’s Office, and continuing to the 34th Avenue Open Streets Coalition Office located at 72-24 Broadway.

The organizers described the rally as a “peaceful march to show that we are a majority to be part of the decision making in our neighborhood.”

Josephine said that she was expecting over 100 residents to join the march, based in part on the number of members on the organization’s Facebook page.

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15 Comments

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Javier

It looks like THIS Democrat will be voting for Curtis Sliwa for Mayor next month. Either regulate cyclists to properly use bike lanes and NOT SIDEWALKS and follow the traffic signals or I will never support this issue. Period.

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da kid

all the people walking enjoying it are all have nothing to do. go to work. put ya kids in sports extra curricular activity u just have them riding a bike with the parent, mad dangerous. go to the park, go to the gym, want open space get out of Jackson heights go upstate. do that in woodside, Maspeth, east elmhurst

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Ivonne

So your parking spot is more important than the ability of hundreds of adults and children to have outdoor space to walk, play and exercise?

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Javier

Thats what PARKS are for. Besides, closing off an entire avenue so kids and adults can play when they should be either at school or at WORK, is a ridiculous way to think. What do you contribute to the city by walking and playing? The answer is nothing, while my car insurance, inspections, meter feeding, and maintenance creates jobs and creates revenue for the city via taxes. Any other questions you need answered.

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Ivonne

Every time I walk on 34th Ave I never see any open parking spots. BTW, I drive as well. Reopening the street will not solve your parking dilemma. As far as the people walking, there is no large park in Jackson Heights… like Astoria Park, or Gantry Park. And, I only know of one gym in Jackson Heights. People need to be able to enjoy the outdoors, city or not. I don’t mind looking for parking, because I feel that Open Streets helps so much more than it hurts.

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JH Resident

It seems a bit excessive to fully close it.

I think it would make more sense to just eliminate parking on both sides and widen the sidewalks, which should provide 15-20 feet of pedestrian space that seems like a good trade-off for the motorists who drive through there and the pedestrians who walk around there.

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sonny

the avenue is disgusting, rats all over the place, vendors with carts selling food, some other lady selling clothes hats and toys. northerns to packed, Roosevelts to packed ,37th ave is with all supermarket deliveries and trucks dropping off food and liquor. 35th ave 37th is always doubled parked idiots that cause even more traffic .they park parallel to each other so only one car can pass through from both sides, fed ex ,ups , amazon all over. ever try goin to junction using 37th ave or 35th ave. u would think junction is a great place to shop because it so congested but its just people trying to go up and down the aves. and with restaurants taking up the streets u ave people double Parkin which. its really just stopping your car in the middle of the road.and now with school busses wack open it up

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Richard V

We Rise
We Resist
Stop Da Steal of 34th Ave !
Eliminate Tyranny

Rabid Rich
🦝
Activist
11372

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Adam

Sounds like a new group was created but it’s the same people? So basically the headline is “no one else opposes this”?

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Javier

As a JH resident, I wouldn’t have issues with closing one direction of The avenue for the summers…..but closing an ENTIRE avenue permanently is LUDICROUS especially with the volume of traffic in this area. Its not even a bikeway. Cyclists and mopeds and e bikes STILL ride on the sidewalks and DO NOT respect the traffic signals. And all 34th Avenue has become is a 24 hour bazaar where people sell their stuff all over the streets. The outdoor eating huts in front of restaurants need to go already to. As a driver who pays taxes, car insurance, car inspection and maintenance, how about giving us drivers our parking spaces back?? Not everyone can afford $300 a month for private parking.

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Frank

From what I see, all the parking spots are taken on 34th Ave. Do you plan on circling the block over and over to find a non-existing spot? This will surely improve the character of 34th Ave. Yes, replace the strolling people with loud cars, trucks, motorcycles and emissions. This, you think is better?

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Javier

You DO realize if they close 34th Avenue permanently, the next thing that will will be all those parking spaces, don’t you? Or are you that obtuse…..

Ok, so lets eliminate cars in the whole city then. I bet you wouldn’t be saying this if you lived on 35th avenue, where all the traffic and incessant honking has been for that past 19 months.

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