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Clarence Eckerson

SEE IT! Hundreds Rally to Keep Cars Out of Travers Park in Jackson Heights

9:32 AM EDT on March 31, 2019

Hundreds rallied in 2019 for the city to make good on its promise to close all of 78th Street in Jackson Heights to car traffic. A car dealership on the block has gotten around that pledge. Photo: Clarence Eckerson Jr.

"No cars in parks."

That was one of the many signs carried by one of the hundreds of Jackson Heights residents and safe streets activists who rallied Saturday on 78th Street, which the city has long promised would be converted from a roadway into a park — only to apparently renege on that promise so a car dealership could use a portion of the street near deadly Northern Boulevard.

As Streetsblog reported earlier this month, the city may not finish the job of converting 78th Street into a park in deference to Koeppel Mazda, which operates a dealership on the corner of Northern and 78th Street and wants to keep using the northern end of the street for moving cars around. City officials have given us no answers — and Koeppel isn't talking.

It's a dangerous, combustible situation. Streetfilms auteur Clarence Eckerson Jr. covered Saturday's rally and filed this film report:

Queens Fights to Keep their Car-Free Travers Park from STREETFILMS on Vimeo.

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