Call it Phase Two in the effort to cleanup Long Island City’s streets.
Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer announced Tuesday that he has doubled the budget to clean the sidewalks of Long Island City.
Last year, the councilman started the program in Long Island City by allocating $35,000 to The Doe Fund, a non-profit group that hires former inmates and homeless people to sweep streets, pick up litter and empty trash.
The workers were in charge of maintaining Vernon Blvd (between 50th and 45th Avenues) and 11th Street (between 50th and 45th Avenues)—as well as some sections of Jackson Avenue.
“The program was enormously successful,” Van Bramer said, adding that it just made sense to build on it.
This week the Doe Fund started covering a number of additional streets—as the Long Island City program now has a budget of about $70,000. The new streets are Jackson Ave (between Vernon Blvd and 45th Avenue); 11th Street (increasing coverage to go to 44th Drive); the side streets between Vernon Blvd and 11th Street (from 45th to 50th Avenues); and 5th Street, from Borden Avenue through 46th Avenue.
The expanded area will receive service on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, while those locations that were established last year will continue to receive five-day service.
“This will dramatically improve the program here in Long Island City,” Van Bramer said.
Van Bramer said the workers will also clean beneath the Pulaski Bridge on 50th Avenue, an area that many residents pass by in order to catch the No. 7 train. He said that the area was in desperate need of a cleaning.
“This area has been incredibly dirty,” Van Bramer said, adding that it is plagued by pigeon droppings and trash. “It’s been hard to get the various agencies to focus on it,” he said.
The DOE Fund is also coming to Dutch Kills this year, although the coverage area has still to be determined.
Van Bramer introduced The Doe Fund to the 26th Council District in Woodside two years ago. He then expanded it into Long Island City last year. All told his office will be spending $133,000 on the Woodside, Hunters Point and Dutch Kills programs this year.