Thursday, February 24, 2011
MTA Looks to Maspeth for New Depot Site
A fight by residents in Greenpoint, Brooklyn to push the MTA out of the community could have a negative outcome for Maspeth.
The Brooklyn Paper reported last week that political rivals Councilman Steve Levin (D- Greenpoint) and Greenpoint district leader Lincoln Restler were both pressuring the MTA to abandon its Access-a-Ride depot at 65 Commercial Street. In 2005, the city agreed to build parkland at the site, but in the following six years, the MTA has yet to obtain a new property to store Access-a-Ride vehicles.
Now, the MTA is considering a site in Maspeth to relocate the Acess-a-Ride depot. According to MTA spokesman Aaron Dono- van, the proposed site is on the east side of 49th Street, between 56th Road and Galasso Place.
“We’re working with the Mayor’s Office, which has agreed to make the site ready for use as a depot,” Donovan said in an e-mail.
For a community that already feels overburdened by commercial traffic, the proposed site is worrisome.
“We have enough truck and vehicular traffic in our community now,” said Roe Daraio,
president of Communities of Maspeth and Elmhurst Together (COMET). “COMET is looking to green our neighborhoods—not add more pollution.”
Maspeth, like Greenpoint, has been fighting for more public parkland. Residents have fought an ongoing battle to convert the former St. Saviour’s property into a park. The community also deals with constant traffic congestion.
The Cross Harbor Freight Program could create more truck traffic in that area if the proposal goes through, and the expansion of Waste Management’s Review Avenue site will bring more garbage trucks through the neighborhood. The MTA also already has an Access-a-Ride depot on Maurice Avenue.
“As far as I’m concerned, if Brooklyn wants to create a park at Access-a-Ride’s present location, then an alternate site should be found in Brooklyn,” Daraio said.
The MTA is also looking at an alternate site in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.