From the Queens Gazette:
The Coalition for a Better Astoria, a coalition of groups representing a broad crosssection of Western Queens, sounds a call to arms against a developer's plan to bring hundreds of tractor trailers through LIC and Astoria.
A broad coalition of community, business and environmental groups opposes Steel Equities' plan to build a major trucking center in Northern Astoria. Steel Equities, the developer, is planning to build a 200,000-square-foot facility which will bring hundreds of tractor trailers thundering through both Long Island City and Astoria at all hours of the day and night. It is believed that the facility will serve as a central shipping hub for Fed Ex.
The Coalition for A Better Astoria says that Steel Equities' plan is particularly offensive, given that the community has been trying to get Con Edison to sell the entire site to the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation for a waterfront park to create much needed open space. In a survey taken by the Coalition for a Better Astoria, local residents overwhelmingly chose parkland as their first choice for land use. Unfortunately, rather than getting more parkland, the community is getting more pollution.
The neighborhoods already suffer the highest asthma rates in the city and are home to the majority of the city's power plants. The ill-advised construction of a truck hub that would bring hundreds of diesel-spewing trucks through Astoria and Long Island City has left some residents feeling like there is something very unfair going on.
The coalition plans to pursue all legal remedies at its disposal to stop Con Edison from transferring the 21-acre lot to the developer, and to deter Fed Ex from leasing the property until the developer proposes another use which will not bring additional truck traffic through these communities.
Anyone interested in joining the fight against the planned trucking center in Astoria can e-mail the Coalition for a Better Astoria at firstname.lastname@example.org.