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Peralta fight to clean up Roosevelt Avenue now includes Woodside

State Sen. Michael Gianaris (l to r), state Sen. Jose Peralta and Assemblyman Michael DenDekker join forces to fix the Roosevelt Avenue corridor.
Photo by Bill Parry
By Bill Parry

State Sen. Jose Peralta (D-East Elmhurst) has company in his mission to clean up Roosevelt Avenue of its decades-old crime and quality-of-life issues.

State Sen. Michael Gianaris (D-Astoria) and state Assemblyman Michael DenDekker (D-East Elmhurst) joined Peralta in Woodside Tuesday to announce his multi-pronged legislation to crack down on “bad actor” businesses. was amended to include the entire corridor from 48th Street to 114th Street.

“Roosevelt Avenue is in a state of disarray. After years of abandonment, this commercial corridor, unfortunately, has become the old Times Square of the 21st century,” Peralta said. “Criminal activity is far too common, and bad actors blend in with thousands and thousands of hardworking New Yorkers.”

The three lawmakers are now pushing legislation that would establish a Roosevelt Avenue Commission that would bring together community boards, the NYPD, the FDNY and city state agencies such as the State Liquor Authority to develop a plan of action within a year. Another measure calls for the City Council to increase the Department of Consumer Affairs budget on enforcement and for the SLA to raise fines for operating without a cabaret license from $1,000 to $10,000 increasing funds for investigations of $2 dance bars that attract drug use, prostitution and other crimes.

“Time and time again, local residents and good businesses have coped with acts of violence and criminal activity along Roosevelt Avenue,” Gianaris said. “These recurring problems continue to negatively affect our quality of life. It is important we have a neighborhood where people feel safe and unscrupulous operators are held accountable for their violations.”

DenDekker said many new businesses and restaurants had opened along Roosevelt Avenue in recent years only to find people staying away from the corridor after dark.

“They feel they’ve made a bad investment,” he said. “Creating a safer Roosevelt Avenue is a high priority for myself and my colleagues, but it will require hard work and cooperation.”

Meanwhile, DenDekker’s legislation recognizing garbage trucks as ‘“hazard vehicles,” the same as police cars and fire trucks, became state law Tuesday regulating how motorists behave when driving near them. Garbage collection is the fifth most dangerous job in the country, with 35 fatal injuries per 100,000 people, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“This law will help protect both public and private sector sanitation workers as they do their jobs,” DenDekker said. “As a former member of the Department of Sanitation, I know firsthand how dangerous this work can be. By passing this law, we are asking New Yorkers to be mindful of those who are working in the streets every day and ensuring that sanitation workers have the safest work environments that they can.”

Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at bparry@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4538.

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