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Sprucing Up Abandoned M. V. Gas Station

CB 5 Committees Eye Plans For Eyesore

The long-closed and crumbling gas station at Fresh Pond Road and Metropolitan Avenue may be getting a new look soon, members learned at the Community Board 5 Transportation and Public Transit Committees Meeting last Tuesday, June 24, at the board’s Glendale office.

The gas station has been out of business for nearly a decade and currently has a chain link fence wrapped around it. Inside the fence are cracked concrete squares, knee high grass and weeds, windows boarded up; graffiti also covers the vacant building.

Underneath the plot lay railroad tracks that can be traced on Google Maps from Montauk into Manhattan. That’s where the gas tanks were stored, underneath the plot, above the tracks, according to Board 5 District Manager Gary Giordano.

Plans proposed by the committee to refurbish the plot, or at least beautify the eyesore, were submitted to Department of Transportation (DOT) Queens Borough Commissioner Dalila Hall.

However, Giordano reported they were told to “go back to the drawing board.”

The Queens DOT office did agree to instal paneling on the fence with a mural on it done by a local artist, the sightliness of which was debated.

Robert Holden, president of the Juniper Park Civic Association and a Board 5 member, said, “[Graffiti delinquents] tend to leave murals alone rather than blank walls.”

At the same time, many members agreed the inevitable graffiti may blend in with the proposed artwork.

As for other capital projects, it was noted, the Metropolitan Avenue drawbridge in East Williamsburg is slated to get a new pull system by replacing the bridges hydraulics and mechanics.

The group agreed the current pull system’s timelines is lengthy, at around 40 minutes, causing people to be late and traffic to back up considerably.

The project, which has no start date as of last Tuesday, will be a night project, according to Giordano.

Board 5 Chairperson Vincent Arcuri sent Hall a request to install east and westbound bike lanes on Metropolitan Avenue between 80th Street and Cooper Avenue (through St. John Cemetery) in Middle Village.

The committees also requested a no parking zone from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. on school days outside of Little Wonders Inc., a child development center at 88- 66 Myrtle Ave. in Glendale, to leave space for the bus that drops students off throughout the day.

The next Community Board 5 Transportation and Public Transit Committees meeting is tentatively scheduled to take place in September at a date and time to be announced. The committees meet at Board 5’s Glendale office, located at 61-23 Myrtle Ave. in Glendale. For more information, call 1-718-366-1834.

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