Brooklyn, NY – In response to numerous complaints from local residents about constant traffic issues throughout Borough Park each morning, Councilman David G. Greenfield has asked New York City Department of Sanitation Commissioner John Doherty to revise the collection schedule used by the local DSNY garage to avoid having garbage trucks on the streets at the same time each morning as yellow school buses.
The issue of sanitation trucks and school buses combining to cause traffic nightmares in Borough Park is something that Greenfield has been working to resolve since he was elected to office, and an issue that he has received accommodations from Sanitation in the form of some evening pickups. However, the problem has recently become exacerbated due to the ongoing school bus strike, as there are more cars on the streets because parents are forced to drive their children to school. That prompted Greenfield to write to Commissioner Doherty earlier this month to request that additional steps be taken to keep neighborhood streets clear of garbage trucks during the morning rush, especially from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. Residents are often delayed without warning while on their way to work or school, and buses often have to detour from their designated route to avoid getting stuck behind sanitation collection trucks.
On Wednesday, Councilman Greenfield and Community Board 12 Chairman Yidel Perlstein met with DSNY Superintendent of BK 12 Michael McEvoy to follow up on the request to Commissioner Doherty earlier this month and to discuss an updated plan to resolve this issue.
“Anyone who drives through Borough Park in the morning knows the sinking feeling that comes with getting stuck in the middle of a block for ten minutes because it is clogged with private school buses and sanitation trucks. While I am grateful for the important service these workers provide to the community, there must be a better way to accommodate everyone who uses our congested streets during rush hour. That’s why I reached out to Commissioner Doherty on this issue, and I look forward to working with him on a long-term solution,” said Councilman Greenfield.
In his letter to Commissioner Doherty, Councilman Greenfield notes that Borough Park was the only city neighborhood with more than 100,000 residents to see growth in the last census count, and was Brooklyn’s top community district in terms of percentage growth of the youth population over the past decade. This population increase, especially among children, will mean more and more issues in the coming years with school buses and garbage trucks sharing neighborhood streets unless steps are taken now to curtail the problem.
In 2006, the Department of Sanitation undertook an extensive effort to reduce incidents of school buses and collection trucks on a block at the same time. Following a pilot program, the department instituted a formal plan to reduce the number of DSNY trucks on certain Borough Park streets between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. However, that plan has not seemed to have made a significant difference in terms of overall traffic congestion.
“One of my top priorities since taking office has been to increase traffic flow and safety for everyone who uses neighborhood streets. This is a complex issue that will require more creative solutions and cooperation from everyone, and I am confident that Commissioner Doherty and Superintendent McEvoy will help us reach a permanent solution that works for residents and the sanitation department,” concluded Councilman Greenfield.