By Bernard Haber
Over the years much has been done to protect and improve the communities of Bayside and Auburndale. In the mid 1980s there was a sudden wave of demolition of magnificent one-family homes on relatively large parcels of land in R4 areas between 35th Avenue and Northern Boulevard, and from Corporal Kennedy Avenue to 217'th Street.
The demolished homes were replaced with 6-, 8- and 10-unit apartment buildings placing enormous pressure on the community for traffic, parking and general congestions.
This changed the look and feel of the Bayside community. After the demolition of almost an entire street side of four beautiful one-family homes and the planned replacement with between 24 and 40 units of apartments, CB 11 called upon the mayor, the borough president and the chair of the city planning commission to halt all further development of this type in Bayside.
Listening to the community and CB 11 after protest rallies, the city placed a moratorium on all further development in the area until the zoning rules could be changed to prevent this unwanted development. It was done and Bayside’s quality of life and housing was preserved.
In the early 1980s CB 11 began to develop plans to upgrade the infrastructure of District 11. This included roads, sewers, parks, bridges and libraries. In the past 25 years CB 11 accomplished an enormous rehabilitation and new construction of its infrastructure. The following are a listing of major projects completed:
1. Almost every street in District 11 has been repaved or reconstructed at least once in the past 25 years. Prior to that time the paving cycle was once every 50 to 100 years. This increase in paving was accomplished by developing priorities in the use of the CB 11 annual allocation of the 6,000 tons of asphalt for the district and designating major streets for capital construction.
2. Bell Boulevard deserves special mention. In the mid 1980s CB 11 developed a plan to reconstruct the street to the existing 30-foot width, build bus cutouts at stops to allow through traffic and prohibit parking and standing from 26th Avenue to 35th Avenue and also widening the roadway at 35th Avenue southbound to 40 feet to allow for a left turning lane. The city and community accepted the plan and in 1988 Bell Boulevard was reconstructed.
3. Reconstruction of 45th Road to upgrade the street was accomplished in the late ‘70s and again in the late ‘80s. However, sewers did not exist between Bell Boulevard and the Clearview Expressway and from 45th Road to 48th Avenue. After many years of planning, the largest capital project in our district was a $14 million plan to construct sewers and reconstruct the streets in the area. The work was completed in 2000.
4. Oakland Lake, Crocheron Park, Alley Pond Park, Corporal Kennedy Park, IS 158 Playground and every playground in the CB 11 district has been rehabilitated at least once in the past 25 years. Major park projects such as the acquisition of Udalls Cove and the adhoining ravine added valuable lands to our district park system.
5. Every local bridge in our district has been or is presently being reconstructed. These include bridges over the LIE, the Cross Island Parkway, the LIRR and Alley Creek. All three railroad stations in the CB 11 district have been rebuilt in the past 25 years.
6. New libraries were constructed at Springfield Blvd., Marathon Pkwy. and Northern Blvd. (at Francis Lewis Blvd.) while all others were upgraded.
These are just a few of the infrastructure projects which without the direct involvement of CB 1 1 would not have been accomplished. We have been fortunate in having most of these become a reality.