Photo courtesy of Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas
An Astoria assemblywoman is asking the MTA and DOB to remove a billboard from the Astoria Boulevard train station.

Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas is calling on city agencies to remove a large and “dangerously distracting” billboard from the Astoria Boulevard train station.

Simotas sent letters to both the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) and Department of Buildings (DOB) arguing that its size — 672 square feet — makes it illegal since it is in a C4 commercial district, which only allows billboards up to 500 square feet.

In her letter to MTA President Andy Byford, she said the billboard, which sits at the intersection of 32nd Street, Astoria Boulevard and the Grand Central Parkway exit ramp “is the site with the highest incidence of traffic accidents in our area, according to the 114th Precinct. The MTA’s removal of this glaring distraction would go a long way to mitigate this major safety hazard.”

She also called on DOB Commissioner Rick Chandler look into removing the sign since Section 32-643 of Article III Chapter 2 of the New York City Zoning Resolution prohibits signs in this specific district from exceeding 500 feet.

“I know this generates revenue for the MTA but if the price is safety than they need to go back to the drawing board and remove the billboard,” she wrote to Byford.

An MTA spokesperson declined a request for comment and said the agency would respond directly to the assemblywoman.

 

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Mike Burmil April 13, 2018 / 11:45AM
How about using the billboard to explain how to best navigate that dangerous intersection such as no left turns from the center lane and not blocking the box? I use that intersection daily and it is a clusterf*ck. Any clarity with potential fines for illegal turns, etc should help.
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Pedro Valdez Rivera Jr. March 05, 2018 / 05:23PM
Any major billboard sign in a democratic nation like this is always a major distraction to our short attention spans.
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