Astoria community members celebrate new four-way stop sign at Astoria Boulevard and 12th Street

From left to right, Andre Stith of Zone 126; Council Member Costa Constantinides; Richard Khuzami, president of Old Astoria Neighborhood Association; Claudia Coger, president of Astoria Houses Residents Association; members of the P.S. 171 school community with Principal Lisa Stone at the new Astoria Boulevard stop sign. (Photo courtesy of Councilman Constantinides’ Office)

Community leaders and Councilman Costa Constantinides gathered on Friday, Nov. 6, to celebrate the installation of a new four-way stop sign and crosswalk at intersection of Astoria Boulevard and 12th Street.

The new sign will bring added street safety, particularly for students who travel from Astoria Houses to P.S. 171.

The Old Astoria Houses Neighborhood Association (OANA), the Astoria Houses Residents Association, Zone 126 and educators came together to request the traffic calming measures at 1the intersection.

They say crossings were unsafe between the Astoria Houses, near 8th Street and Astoria Boulevard, and P.S. 171, at 14th Street and 29th Avenue.

“We have worked on getting a safe crossing for many years for the children in the Astoria Houses,” said Claudia Coger, president of the Astoria Houses Residents Association. “I am thankful that Richard Khuzami [president of OANA] heard us and moved in our favor and all other supporters.”

The New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) heard their call for a safer intersection and responded with measures to calm traffic in the area.

“We’re pleased to be able to bring a new All Way Stop sign and upgraded roadway markings to the intersection of 12th Street and Astoria Boulevard,” said NYC DOT Queens Borough Commissioner Nicole Garcia. “We thank Council Member Constantinides and all the local stakeholders for advocating for these improvements, which will create safer conditions for students at PS 171 and all residents in the community.”

Photo courtesy of Councilman Constantinides’ Office

Constantinides said the new measures “reflect the best of communities working together,” and praised Khuzami, Coger, P.S. 171 Principal Lisa Stone and Andre Stith of Zone 126 for making the street safer.

“The safety of our young people is of paramount importance to our entire community, and the recent designation of the area around P.S. 171 as a school Safety zone, which includes signage, cameras, and traffic controls has been the result of an collaborative effort of the entire neighborhood!” said Khuzami. “Patience and perseverance have won the day, and we have created a blueprint of cooperation creating a better quality of life for us all.”