Barnett Ave, historically a dangerous two-way street punctuated by trash and weeds, has been cleared of waste and converted into a one-way street with a sidewalk.
Many Sunnyside residents have been fighting for years to have the Avenue cleaned up, and have been working with the sanitation department, Dept. of Transportation and Community Board to bring change. They also have been calling for a sidewalk for some time.
The street is narrow, which made it particularly tight for two lanes even without the sidewalk. The local community rallied around the cause, pumping money into ongoing cleanups by picking up trash.
“Barnett Ave. had been an eyesore and blight on the community for years,” Joe Conley told the Woodside Herald. “It was an accident waiting to happen.”
Sunnyside resident, Ciaran Staunton, who led the movement and reached out to The Sunnyside Post, has been a vocal critic of the road for years.
Last year, Staunton and other residents thought they had their victory. City Council Speaker Christine Quinn visited the site (48th and Barnett Ave) and said the city would fund the sidewalk, which was scheduled to be completed by 2012.
However, the recession kicked in and New York City said it was unable to fund the project.
But Staunton was not deterred and formed the Barnett Avenue Alliance to lobby for the sidewalk.
The group’s persistence paid off and the city cleared the street, which was filled with local debris.
Today, the one-way street is in place and runs westbound from 48th to 50th streets. Furthermore, Barnett Ave. now has a sidewalk.
Photos from the Woodside Herald: