BY ARIEL HERNANDEZ
Last month during Community Board 7’s monthly meeting, the city’s Environmental Development Corporation (EDC) gave an update on the Willets Point project, leaving residents and landlords questioning who is in charge of the dangerous roads and when they will be fixed.
The Queens Tribune spoke to Sam Samrucci, who owns a property along Willets Point Boulevard. He said he had been bringing up the issue of the roads for more than three years, despite the fact that Willets Point Boulevard had been a part of the $9 billion budget.
“The streets are horrendous,” said Samrucci. “They’re in the budget but still they [the city] choose to do nothing. I understand they’re in the process of redeveloping Willets Point, but what about the roads and the people that use them every day? I’m surprised there haven’t been any accidents, and it’s sad to say but it seems like it’s going to take a tragedy for them to actually do something.”
Samrucci said that when the roads were repaved around Citi Field, rather than continue to pave along Willets Point Boulevard, the Department of Transportation (DOT) chose to stop 25 linear feet away.
“I live in Whitestone and the streets on my block have been paved three times in the last two years for no reason,” said Samrucci. “I met with the DOT commissioner [Polly Trottenberg] and she told me that it’s an EDC issue.”
But when Samrucci contacted the EDC, he said he was instructed to talk to the DOT because it was not an EDC issue.
“I don’t know who else to talk to,” said Samrucci, who claims he also reached out to a number of elected officials but nothing has been done. “They’re collecting our property taxes while these roads remain horrendous, causing us to lose business. It’s extremely troubling that no one wants to take responsibility.”
The Tribune reached out to the EDC, which told us near our print deadline that any questions about roads need to be directed to DOT. We have contacted DOT officials who say they are working to provide an answer.