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Julissa Ferreras Spotlights Ped Medians, Plazas in NY1 Tour of Her District

1:26 PM EDT on August 26, 2013

On a tour of her council district in East Elmhurst and Corona with Errol Louis of NY1 on Friday, Council Member Julissa Ferreras highlighted two livable streets projects: Corona Plaza, a popular gathering spot near the 7 train, and wider medians on Astoria Boulevard to help seniors cross the street.

"I'd like for more cars to slow down and recognize that this is a neighborhood," Ferreras said. "Our seniors can't even get across the street."

The danger to seniors is all too real: In May, 75 year-old Elba Granizo was killed trying to cross Roosevelt Avenue. Ferreras, who sponsored a Transportation Alternatives study of speeding on 23rd Avenue [PDF], added that she used $800,000 in discretionary funds to work with DOT to widen pedestrian medians on Astoria Boulevard.

After visiting a new school site, Ferreras and Louis return to livable streets with a visit to Corona Plaza. "It was a challenge," Ferreras said. "Many people didn't believe in the vision." But after DOT worked with local businesses and community members, she said, the neighborhood has embraced the space as its own.

Repeating an anecdote she relayed to Streetfilms last year, Ferreras said that when the plaza first opened, residents asked her if they could use it. "This is your plaza; you deserve this," she told NY1. "If it's clean and new, it can be yours."

Next year, District 21 will include LaGuardia Airport and LeFrak City as a result of redistricting. Ferreras is unopposed in the election.

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