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Pols and residents say ‘no’ to new Maspeth depot

With some of the highest child asthma rates in the country, constant truck traffic and two bus depots already, residents and politicians in Maspeth are fighting to keep a third depot out of the area.

With a third bus depot, which will store 150 access-a-ride vehicles, rumored to be placed in Maspeth, Councilmembers Jimmy Van Bramer and Elizabeth Crowley and Assemblymember Marge Markey held a press conference questioning and denouncing the proposed spot on 49th Street and Galasso Place.

Coupled with the fact that there are already two depots in the area, the politicians were upset with a process they said was “reckless and dangerous.”

“I am outraged, absolutely outraged and livid that the City of New York would attempt to sneak a depot into Maspeth,” said Van Bramer.

“Enough is enough,” said Crowley. “Maspeth is not a doormat.”

These politicians, along with six other local politicians, sent a letter to Mayor Michael Bloomberg asking him to reconsider his decision, citing a community overwhelmed with truck traffic and high children asthma rates as well as the lack of community review of the process.

“They are dead wrong on the issue and they are doubly wrong on the process,” said Van Bramer.

He called it a slap in the face for the city to attempt “in the dark of night to trick this community and to shove this depot down the throats of the people of Maspeth.”

A spokesperson in the mayor’s office said that the Maspeth site is just one of many sites being considered and a deal was never imminent. The process is not at all finalized and community input is important in finding the proper site, the spokesperson said.

Maspeth residents also came out against the potential depot.

“I’m done, I’m moving out of here,” said Linda Daquaro, whose son is asthmatic, on the possibility of the bus depot. “How much more do they want to keep dumping on Maspeth?”

The other politicians who signed the letter to the mayor included Assemblymembers Michael Miller and Catherine Nolan, Congressmembers Anthony Weiner and Joseph Crowley, State Senator Michael Gianaris and Borough President Helen Marshall.

The planned site has already been denied multiple times by the MTA because it did not meet their standard of a functional space, said Van Bramer.

The need for a new site for a depot is the result of a park being built in Greenpoint displacing the depot already there. There are already two bus depots in the area, including one just blocks from the proposed site on Grand Avenue.

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