City Council Candidates on the Issues: John Ciafone, District 22

We have an update to our series on City Council candidates with questionnaire responses from two additional candidates in District 22, which covers Astoria, Ditmars-Steinway, and northern Jackson Heights. In April, we ran responses from Democratic District Leader Costa Constantinides and former New York Young Republican Club President Daniel Peterson.

City Council District 22 candidate John Ciafone. Photo courtesy the candidate.

This week, we add responses from candidates who announced after we sent the initial questionnaire this spring: Green Party candidate Lynne Serpe and Democrat John Ciafone. Antonio Meloni, who responded to Streetsblog’s questionnaire but did not provide answers for publication, has since dropped out of the race. Danielle De Stefano did not respond.

Streetsblog: A proposal for a pedestrian plaza at 30th Avenue, 33rd Street and Newtown Avenue was defeated by opposition from Community Board 1 and Council Member Vallone. Do you think public plazas, like the ones installed in other neighborhoods throughout the city, provide a benefit to the community?

John Ciafone: I am a strong advocate of pedestrian plazas. Although I would have supported pedestrian plaza at 30th Avenue and Newtown Avenue, the argument about traffic and parking is tenuous at best. Traffic is already unmanageable and impossible to park and with a pedestrian plaza, I truly believe businesses will flourish.

SB: Astoria Boulevard is slated to receive Select Bus Service improvements to speed bus travel. Could other parts of the neighborhood benefit from things like dedicated bus lanes?

JC: We need dedicated bus lanes on every major avenue in Astoria, for instance: Ditmars Boulevard, 30th Avenue, and Broadway. We also need a dedicated bus lane on 21st Street and Crescent Street. It would increase the time efficiency of the buses and better accommodate the commuters.

SB: How can the council best use its powers to reduce vehicular deaths and ensure traffic justice citywide?

JC: I will advocate for pedestrian havens and zones where tables and chairs can be set up for enjoyment. I will advocate for bike lanes on both directions of 21st Street. I will advocate for more crossing guards near the schools. I will advocate for cameras to be installed at traffic lights to avoid intersection accidents. I will also advocate for digitizing speed cameras which tell drivers the rate of movement of their vehicles. I will advocate for the delay time of traffic signals from red to green. I will also advocate for speed bumps and speed humps throughout 21st Street.

SB: The MTA is a state agency, but what actions would you like to see the City Council take to fund and expand transit service?

JC: The City Council needs to have a predominant voice in the MTA budget meetings. The City Council members know better as to the individual needs of their locales and the trials and tribulations of commuting issues in their neighborhoods.

  • astoria resident

    There is a recent entry into this council race. Gus Prentzas. I would be interested to hear his responses to this questionnaire.

  • Pete DiRoma

    He is concerned with the increasing cost of roses and the economic collapse in Greece.

  • Moinul Islam

    One of the great personality ,I known ,his is very helpful to emigrant ,he is a good Hunan bring ,in queens specialy .i myself sent many people to John. He help them. I would like to see people like him. Serving ,this Great city Of New York .We need people like him.( John Ciafone )

  • jim

    Pete, your answer is so ignorant!!! shame on you

  • Peter diroma

    Yes, my comment was wrong. He lost and deserved to lose because he is an unlikable man. If he was a PTA president after his wife I’m sure he was a delight, but while she served he was an arrogant, ignorant,pompous jerk.

  • James Arron

    I have to agree with Mr. DiRoma, the man is a thief and not well liked. He currently has a flower stand next to a supermarket. He forced out a small business owner who was there before with his connections with the community board because it was direct competition for his flower shop. He then waited a few months and took over the space himself (the obscure law he used to force them out doesn’t apply to him) Look up public queens records he’s being sued by multiple people including a bank. In his case lets hope every dog has his day!


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