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Thursday’s Headlines: 34th Avenue Is Officially a Park Edition

The 26-block car-free open street on 34th Avenue in Queens is officially a park! Plus more news.

12:03 AM EST on December 21, 2023

It’s all in the name. 

The 26-block car-free open street on 34th Avenue in Queens is officially a park after the City Council voted Wednesday to officially dub the strip Paseo Park.

The name — which means "stroll" in Spanish — is a nod to the diverse community of Jackson Heights, which ranks last in the city in green space. Community members created the new public space in 2020 in the depths of the pandemic.

"Thirty-Fourth Avenue Paseo Park is the incredible story of a community coming together during a crisis to create new open space, filling it with families, music, and joy," said Council Parks Committee Chair Shekar Krishnan (D-Jackson Heights).

The 34th Avenue open street quadrupled the amount of public space in the neighborhood — attracting vocal opponents but many more defenders. Crashes and injuries along 34th Avenue dropped 42 percent since the change. A co-naming ceremony for Paseo Park will take place next year. 

“As a child of an immigrant, who grew up in Jackson Heights longing for park space, I am proud of how far we’ve come in organizing for Paseo Park," said Luz Maria Mercado, board chair of Alliance for Paseo Park.

"I love that our Spanglish nickname for this vital community space caught on and will soon be on maps."

— Reporting by Julianne Cuba

In other news:

  • Springfield Gardens neighbors mourn car crash victim Fitzherbert "Chicky" Slowe, 71. "He's the one who brought us here from Guyana, and he was always with us." (CBS 2)
  • What does New York stand to lose from a potential congestion pricing settlement with New Jersey? (NY Post)
  • MTA buses will start snapping drivers in bike lanes next year. (amNY)
  • Scooter-share and e-bike company Bird — which operates in the Bronx — filed for bankruptcy. (TechCrunch)
  • Deliveristas tell amNY readers why e-bike registration is a bad idea.
  • Bike lane buildout on MTA bridges going according to schedule. (MTA)
  • The MTA's $47 billion debt-load — and how straphangers foot the bill. (Bloomberg)
  • City Council OKs 117 (!) honorary street namings, including one for Tony Bennett (Daily News)
  • Registration open for 2024 Five Boro Bike Tour. (NBC 4)
  • Video ads coming to the backseats of Ubers and Lyfts. (amNY)

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