By Emily Keller
The 66th Precinct Community Council’s February meeting shone the spotlight on traffic woes within the district’s confines. That came as no shock to the council’s leadership. Marc Katz, the council’s vice president, said that complaints about cars usually top the laundry list of residents’ gripes. “We need to widen 13th Avenue so cars can travel faster,” he said prior to the meeting, held at the offices of Community Board 12, 5910 13th Avenue. There were some serious concerns to discuss, including the prevalence of double-parked trucks on Avenue C, which has not led to any accidents yet but could, the precinct’s captain, Peter DeBlasio said. “Anyone traveling westbound has to go into eastbound lanes, obviously creating a hazard,” he said. Trucks traveling down streets that are not designated trucks routes are another problem, not only in the 66th Precinct, but citywide, and is particularly troublesome on Beverley Road from Ocean Parkway to Coney Island Avenue, on Ocean Avenue, and on the Beverley Road service road, said residents and council members. “The signage is there. The problem is they disobey the signs,” said the captain. Fortunately, “When they receive those summonses they are very expensive,” he said, hopeful that the summonses will curb the problem. Discussion of the precinct’s top crimes does not end there. “School buses are always a hot topic,” said the captain about the council’s meetings. Double-parked school buses on 13th Avenue are also wreaking havoc on the community. At the last monthly meeting, the story was the same. “Last month one of the main concerns was traffic, as it usually is in the 66,” said DeBlasio. He said he doesn’t mind that traffic issues are the most pressing concerns at the precinct’s community council meetings. “I’m happy to have those issues instead of other issues,” he said, smiling. Since the start of 2006, he noted, “We have [had] absolutely no violence.” Between 1990 and 2005, the precinct’s crime rate has fallen by about 80 percent overall, with most crimes dropping. Murder was 33.3 percent lower than in 1990, robbery was 68.8 percent lower, grand larceny was 42.4 percent lower, felony assault was 40.9 percent lower, burglary was 86.4 percent lower, and grand larceny auto was 91.8 percent lower. In 2005 there were six murders in the confines of the precinct, 260 robberies, 478 grand larcenies, 212 felony assaults, 267 auto grand larcenies, and 363 burglaries. Rape, however, was 13.3 percent higher, with 17 reported rapes in 2005 compared with 15 in 1990. There have been no rapes or murders in 2006, although there have been 13 robberies, 12 felony assaults, 22 burglaries, 40 grand larcenies, and 22 auto grand larcenies. The 3.5 square mile protected by the 66th Precinct includes Midwood and Kensington as well as Borough Park. The precinct is located at 5822 16th Avenue. The council meets at 7:30 p.m. the third Thursday of every month at 59-10 13th Avenue. At the March 16 meeting, a police gangs unit is expected to make a presentation, and a specialist in identity theft is expected at an upcoming meeting to be determined. For more information, call (718) 851-5601.