State. Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) and community leaders say they are against a pedestrian plaza proposed for the street across from the McGoldrick Library in Flushing.
In 2014, the Korean American Association of Queens applied to the city Department of Transportation to permanently close the street in front of the library on Roosevelt Avenue between 155th Street and Northern Boulevard and make a pedestrian plaza with tables and chairs.
The plaza would also be on Leonard Square, which honors Corporal William A. Leonard, a Flushing resident and World War I veteran.
Avella attended the trial street closure Friday, which he said he learned of only a day earlier and found that the area had too little pedestrian traffic to warrant a plaza and limited room to reroute traffic to avoid congestion.
“I only found out about this on Thursday and my first reaction was, ‘What idiot came up with this?’” he said during a news conference Monday afternoon.
He places the blame on the DOT and elected officials who support the proposal, saying they should know better than to support a plaza in an area with a lot of traffic and without sufficient community input.
He said state Sen. Toby Stavisky (D-Flushing), one of the supporters of the proposal, should be “ashamed of herself.”
“I fault the city and I fault any elected official who tried to sneak this through,” he said.
Mike Favilla, Stavisky’s chief of staff, said the proposal does not concern Avella.
“Tony Avella has made more crazy allegations than Donald Trump and now he’s at it again,” Favilla said in a statement. “Considering that Tony only received 52 percent of the vote in his last primary, perhaps he should spend more time in his own district rather than looking for fights elsewhere.”
At the trial street closure last week, Stavisky and City Councilman Peter Koo (D-Flushing) said they were unaware of opposition to the proposal but that they would meet with community leaders to discuss it.
City Councilman Paul Vallone (D-Bayside) supports the proposal as well.
It's more than a pedestrian plaza with tables and chairs. They also want vendor stalls. Because there's nowhere else in Flushing to buy cheap junk right now.