8 THE QUEENS COURIER • DECEMBER 21, 2017 FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM
Trucks on parkway will end 'soul-piercing' Astoria noise
BY ANGELA MATUA
Th e state Department of Transportation
(DOT) announced on Friday that large
trucks will no longer have to use local truck
routes in Astoria to bypass sections of the
Grand Central Parkway (GCP).
Previously, trucks larger than 12
feet, 6 inches tall driving on the Grand
Central Parkway in Astoria had to use
local truck routes to enter the Robert F.
Kennedy Bridge or the Brooklyn Queens
Forcing these vehicles to use local truck
routes at Astoria Boulevard, Queens
Boulevard, Northern Boulevard and
Broadway increased traffi c and the emission
Gianaris urges DA Brown to close troubled LIC nightclub
BY ANGELA MATUA
Aft er a prostitution bust led to the
arrest of fi ve women at a Long Island
Citynightclub, state Senator Michael
Gianaris is calling on the Queens District
Attorney to use the state’s Nuisance
Abatement Law to shut it down.
Show Palace, located at 42-50 21st St., has
been a problem since its inception in 2012,
according to Gianaris and other community
leaders who held a press conference on
Dec. 11 to demand it be shut down.
Originally called Gypsy Rose, the allnude
nightclub applied for a liquor
license three times since it opened. Th e
State Liquor Authority (SLA) denied the
application every time.
According to Gianaris, the club’s owner
turned the nightclub into an all-nude
establishment because of the SLA’s decision
and customers will sometimes drink
outside near the sidewalk since the club
is technically not allowed to sell alcohol.
On Dec. 13, Gianaris wrote a letter
to Queens District Attorney Richard A.
Brown asking that he invoke the Nuisance
Abatement Law, a law used by the NYPD
to shut down violent clubs and bars and
crime-prone businesses. It was fi rst enacted
in the ’70s to curb the sex and drug
industry in Times Square.
“Recent reports from the New York
City Police Department’s 108th Precinct
indicate a disproportionate number of
disturbing incidents coming from this
location including shootings, prostitution
and other summonses,” Gianaris wrote in
the letter. “Taken together, these activities
make clear that the continued operation
of this club puts our community at risk.”
According to the Daily News, the
NYPD Vice Squad arrested fi ve women
for prostitution between the ages of 20 to
35 on Dec. 1 during a raid that began as
an investigation into liquor law violations.
Th e nightclub has made headlines for
violating liquor laws, selling drugs, weapons
charges and a shooting. Owner Gus
Drakopoulos also ran Sin City in the
Bronx, a nightclub that was shut down
aft er the Daily News spoke to former
employees who described the poor working
conditions, harassment experienced
by women there and the consistent violence.
“It is evident that Show Palace presents
an increased danger to local residents
Sand is a detriment to our community,”
Gianaris wrote. “Given the aforementioned
concerns, I respectfully request
that the Nuisance Abatement Law be utilized
to provide our neighborhood with
Th e Queens District Attorney’s offi ce
is currently prosecuting the prostitution
case. A spokesperson for Brown did not
respond to a request for comment as of
of heavy fumes, local offi cials argued.
Now, trucks up to 14 feet tall can stay on
the Grand Central Parkway to the BQE.
Th e $2.5 million project, which started
in November, will increase clearances at
the 31st Street and 69th Street overpasses
by lowering the roadway, micro-milling
the pavement and lowering catch basins.
Signs that once diverted trucks to local
roads will be removed.
At a press conference at 31st Street in
Astoria, resident Matthew Weiss said he
was “ecstatic, elated” and “jumping up and
down with joy and glee.”
A 20-year Astoria resident who lives
about 100 feet from Astoria Boulevard,
Weiss said he has been contacting offi cials
for 15 years about the noise and pollution
he experienced as a result of the trucks.
“Th ese giant semis have to use that Jake
brake engine breaking mechanism on diesel
engines,” he said. “Th at’s the sound
that haunts my nightmares.”
Weiss, who said he oft en hears a
“soul-piercing noise from these giant
machines” through his window contacted
Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas’ offi ce
in 2013 and credited her for working diligently
to push the state to fi nd a solution.
He added that the trucks were a major
source of pollution and that pedestrians
felt unsafe crossing the street with trucks
speeding by local roads.
“It’s an amazing result of local advocacy,”
Weiss said. “Th is is a triumph of local
In June, Simotas, Councilman Costa
Constantinides, state Senator Michael
Gianaris and Congressman Joseph
Crowley held a press conference in the
same location calling on the state to
implement this plan.
At the time, a spokesperson for the state
DOT said the agency has studied allowing
larger commercial vehicles to use that section
of the GCP but “roadway characteristics”
have stopped them from permitting
trucks to do so.
“A long, horrible nightmare for the people
who live, work, travel and play in this
Astoria neighborhood is fi nally ending,”
Simotas said. “I can’t think of a nicer gift
to the community this holiday season and
I thank Governor Andrew Cuomo and the
state Department of Transportation for listening
to our request, acknowledging the
needless suff ering of this community and
getting this project done in record time.”
Crowley, who called the project “a great
present,” added that this project would
also ease traffi c in neighborhoods as far
Th e project is set to be completed at the
end of 2017.
Photo by Angela Matua/QNS
A $2.5 million project will end the practice of large trucks using local streets to travel in Astoria.
Photo by Dean Moses
State Senator Michael Gianaris is calling on the Queens District Attorney to shut down Show Palace,
a Long Island City nightclub.
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