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BY TRONE DOWD
The City Council voted unanimously on Wednesday to approve a zoning amendment that would help to move the construction of the recently proposed 116th Precinct forward.
The vote established a C1-3 District within the R-3 district in Rosedale, where the precinct will be located.
Although concrete designs for the precinct have not yet been made public, the location was decided last summer. The precinct will take the place of the 105th Satellite Precinct, which is located at 242-40 North Conduit Ave. In Rosedale.
Southeast Queens residents have been calling for a new precinct for more than 40 years. The $70 million project will be fully funded by the city, and is expected to alleviate some of the long-term issues that the community has faced regarding emergency response times and the equal distribution of police resources.
“For nearly 40 years, communities in the 105th Precinct have asked for a new precinct only to see their request fall on deaf ears,” Councilman Donovan Richards (D-Laurelton) said on Wednesday. “Finally, thanks to the hard work of [resident and community activist] Bess DeBetham, the 116th Precinct Task Force, Mayor [Bill] de Blasio and Commissioner [James] O’Neill, the 116th Precinct is moving along rapidly. The new 116th precinct will help improve response times and, most importantly, ensure that our quality of life is both sustained and improved.”
In previous years, the 105th’s response times have lagged behind their Queens contemporaries. The 105th is the fourth largest command in the city, covering 12.43 square miles and 354 miles of roadway, including seven major highways. With the introduction of the 116th, that massive jurisdiction will essentially be cut in half, allowing the NYPD a chance to hone in on the unique needs of each part of the community.
According to Richards’ office, the councilman has been in talks with the NYPD and the city’s Department of Transportation (DOT) in regard to providing a number of safety amenities and changes to the area.
These amenities include the addition of an 800-square-foot community space as well as a pedestrian plaza for public use on or near the site of the new building. The NYPD has already agreed to maintain the additional space and meet with a community advisory board quarterly to hash out the details.
The DOT has committed to studying some of Southeast Queens’ busiest corridors, including Brookville Boulevard, South Conduit Avenue, Sunrise Highway, Francis Lewis Boulevard and Hook Creek Boulevard, with the intention of enhancing safety for pedestrians.
The DOT has also committed to a $1.4 million resurfacing for more than seven-lane miles of Francis Lewis Boulevard and is reviewing the option for Hook Creek Boulevard, 228th Street, 217th to 219th streets and 137th Avenue. The agency will also be working with the NYPD to provide authorized parking as needed in the DOT’s municipal lot.
Construction on the 116th Precinct is scheduled to begin at some point in 2019.
Reach reporter Trone Dowd via email at email@example.com.