Astoria Park

The Daily Plant : Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Parks Fleet Gets Even Greener

One of the vehicles in Parks' green fleet.
Photo by Daniel Avila

Astoria Park’s fleet is greener than ever with the addition of nine new electric cars. On April 9, Commissioner Benepe took a test drive of one of the cars with Queens Borough President Helen Marshall, Council Members John Liu and Peter Vallone, Jr., New York Power Authority Senior V.P. of Energy Services and Technology Angelo Esposito, and Clean Air Communities Director Debbi Edelstein.

“The Parks Department is proud to be a leader in experimenting with alternative fuel technology. After all, we are ‘New York’s Greenest,’” said Commissioner Benepe. “We appreciate the generosity of the New York Power Authority and the Clean Air Communities group for giving us the opportunity to add nine new electric vehicles to the Parks fleet and reduce our carbon footprint on New York City.”

Thanks to a $90,000 grant from the Clean Air Communities, in partnership with the New York Power Authority (NYPA), seven diesel or gasoline vehicles will be replaced by nine electric-powered ones that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 15 tons per year. The new vehicles will be used in Astoria Park and include two passenger and seven utility vehicles.

The funding from Clean Air Communities and NYPA was part of the $2 million Queens Clean Air Project that began in 2005. The initiative, established in an agreement with Queens Borough President Marshall, included adding solar-powered trash compactors, pollution controls on sanitation trucks, the installation of a green roof on Silvercup Studios and electric ground support at LaGuardia Airport.

The Parks Department is the first New York City agency to use biodiesel (B20) for all diesel vehicles and Parks operates more than 1,300 parks vehicles using alternative fuels. Currently, 800 of Parks’ 2,500 vehicles use biodiesel and over 500 others operate on energy that ranges from electricity to solar power.


On Sunday, April 13, Bronx PEP Officers Christopher Hanna-Dorsey and Darlene Lewis were patrolling Pugsley Creek Park when they observed three males with two dirt bikes.

One male attempted to leave the scene by jumping into a white Chevy van. The officers quickly surrounded the vehicle and were able to ascertain that the operator was the person responsible for transporting the dirt bikes to the park. The officers called for assistance. After a canvas of the area the other two males and the two dirt bikes were apprehended.

Operators were issued summonses for area use restrictions and bikes were vouchered at the 43rd precinct.


“Remember, Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did,
but backwards and in high heels.”

Faith Whittlesey

Directions to Astoria Park

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