Letters to the Editor, Dec. 18

You  want to put it where?

Re: “CB6 to vote on sanit. garage alternatives,” T&V, Dec. 18

To the editor:

On December 10, my wife and I attended an open meeting of Community Board 6.  Our chief interest was the report given by BFJ Planning — a private consultation firm — outlining two options for the construction of a sanitation garage in CB6. One plan would place the garage at 25th Street and First Avenue (Brookdale) as an underground facility with other as yet-to-be-determined structures above it. The other plan would place the plant on Avenue C between 15th and 16th Streets — a flat site currently owned by Con Ed and used for employee parking fronting a huge baseball/soccer field used by our community’s children in the spring, summer and fall seasons.

Both options would put the garage in a flood zone. In the case of the Brookdale option, with the garage underground, a flood from a storm of the Sandy type would not merely flood the garage with salt water, it would create a submerged structure — as in swimming pool — with indeterminate consequences for the garage itself, overlying structures and the immediate intersection — not a promising option.

In the second option, the one on Avenue C between 15th and 16th Streets, a flood of the Sandy type would clearly impact on the garage, as it impacted on everything in our area in 2012, but  here is the significant difference: the flood waters would recede. Of course there would be damage, but in this simplified scenario once the salt water recedes the area would dry and repairs would begin.

This raises the obvious question: for whom is the first plan, the Brookdale option, a consideration? We have heard some strong and firm objections to it, and in contrast, reasoned favorable remarks about the option on Avenue C — if Con Ed sells/rents/ transfers the property to the city, which I am sure the city and Con Ed will “work-out.” So… do we have two options? If you think, as I do (with the limited information available to us ordinary not-yet-apathetic-voters) you will conclude that in reality we have been given one real option.

It is the multiple story site on Avenue C between 15th and 16th Streets. To be sure, the decision making process will appear open, above board, well-reasoned, and in the end wholly predetermined. The result will be a two, three, four, five story maintenance/cleaning facility right smack in a flood zone.

So… in light of what scientists have been long-warning about climate change and the certain flooding of lowlands — witness this area in 2012 — can a paid consulting firm and city fathers do no better than propose building a garage in an area that government itself has designated a flood zone? (A suggestion: in view of climate certainties, find an elevated part of the island.)

John M. Giannone, ST

M15 bus’s ‘award’ is well-deserved

Last week Channel 7 news filmed a Straphangers Association announcement of a dubious award to New York City Number 15 bus found in a survey of riders as one of the two slowest.

This was no big news story to any of the 25,000 tenants at Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village or other building residents – shivering in wintry sub-zero temperatures or sweltering in the high heat and humidity of mid-summer weather – standing along First or Second Avenue hoping to catch one of the few creepily-moving M15 buses making local stops.

Adding insult  to discomfort during their seemingly interminable waits for arrival for each M15 bus that finally makes a local stop, “lucky” riders are subjected to watching pass by at least three “Select” M15s making express-only stops, some barely half-occupied (if that); or other buses empty but designated “out of service” or “next bus please.”

Is that the way to run a bus “service” and still justify continually increasing fare charges?

If alive, would even Marie Antoinette’s reply have been? “Let them hail taxis…ride bikes…or walk.”

Bob Kaplan, PCV

Some tenants’ idea of ‘conversion’

To the Editor,

A certain breed of tenants have come up with a new idea of a Stuyvesant Town “conversion.” “Convert” your apartment into a bar and have as many people in as possible, let them get rowdy and drunk, throw out bottles into stairwells and have yourselves a jolly good time.

To heck with the rest of the tenants, amongst which not only a good number of elderly people but also serious young professionals and families with small children. What a situation and what a change!

One such incident with many people in one apartment (to judge from the enormous noise level emanating from it) occurred on a recent Saturday in my building. Public Safety was called and arrived after considerable delay (they probably had to deal with similar excesses elsewhere in the complex). Whether they were able or willing to impress upon the perpetrators that they were disturbing the peace of other people is questionable as these incidents become ever more frequent throughout the complex.

This has nothing to with the holiday season or even with having a nice party with real friends. These events are just an excuse for excessive alcohol consumption and bad behavior, and bad behavior should have consequences. My neighbors and I urge management to do more about this unacceptable situation.

Name withheld, ST

One thought on “Letters to the Editor, Dec. 18

  1. Re: Sanit. garage alternatives

    The community board spent it’s own money to ask BFJ to provide additional options to the city’s own plan, options which, despite different factors, may offer a more beneficial situation over the city’s existing thinking for the Brookdale site.

    I asked about this at the CB6 meeting. Both of BFJ’s options have uncomplicated contingencies available for severe floods: since the proposed facility is just vehicle storage and not an actual processing facility of any sort, all rolling stock can be moved out of the proposed facilities in advance of any anticipated flooding, and stored on high ground for the duration.

    As far as I am aware, the structure built at any of the sites can be built to be resilient to flooding – prepared to resist moderate flooding, but prepared to withstand inundation in case of severe flooding.

    Thus, it seems possible and reasonable for new construction to exist on either site, as long as appropriate architectural and engineering measures are taken.

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