2018-02-28 / Features

MTA Called On To Remove Massive Illuminated Billboard


Assembly Member Aravella Simotas is calling on the MTA to remove a giant, flashing billboard it has mounted on the Astoria Boulevard elevated subway station. She said it is oversized and poses a distracting hazard to drivers negotiating a complex intersection. Assembly Member Aravella Simotas is calling on the MTA to remove a giant, flashing billboard it has mounted on the Astoria Boulevard elevated subway station. She said it is oversized and poses a distracting hazard to drivers negotiating a complex intersection. The perennial campaign to keep Astoria’s streets safe got another boost from Assembly Member Aravella Simotas, who is calling on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) to remove the giant, flashing billboard it has mounted on the Astoria Boulevard elevated subway station. She called the billboard a dangerous distraction for drivers and said it is so big that it violates the zoning law that forbids illuminated billboards over 500 square feet in that area. The MTA’s billboard is nearly 700 square feet.

In a February 21 letter to NYC Transit President Andy Byford, Simotas noted that the location of the billboard, facing the intersection of 32nd Street, Astoria Boulevard and the Grand Central Parkway exit ramp is “the site with the highest incidence of traffic accidents in our area, according to the 114 Precinct. The MTA’s removal of this glaring distraction would go a long way to mitigate this major safety hazard.”

The billboard hangs in bright, gargantuan view of drivers negotiating seven lanes of heavy traffic that converge and turn every which way, Simotas noted.

“I know this generates revenue for the MTA, but if the price is safety, than they need to go back to the drawing board and remove the billboard,” Assembly Member Simotas said.

In a separate February 21 letter to Rick D. Chandler, Commissioner of the city Department of Buildings, Simotas asked that he investigate the zoning violation from the MTA’s illuminated billboard and that he remove the billboard as soon as possible.

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