An open letter to DSNY Commissioner Kathryn Garcia

By Letitia James

I am writing with concerns about overcrowding at the Queens 1 district garage.

The Department of Sanitation has parked its trucks on 35th Avenue between 12th and 24th streets. These trucks remain double-parked throughout the day, blocking cars and fire hydrants, releasing noxious gases and oils into the community, and creating traffic and health hazards.

Because of the idling trucks, there is often no street cleaning service on the north side of 24th Avenue — a municipal service taxpayers are owed.

A representative of my office conducted a site visit to the area on the morning of Feb. 1 and witnessed no fewer than 20 trucks parked along 35th Avenue. She also observed a sinkhole in front of 12-35 35th Ave. that had been unable to be repaired by the Department of Environment Protection due to the garbage trucks blocking the roadway. She was told during the visit that the conditions caused by DSNY trucks have been a problem for over 10 years.

While I was pleased to learn that DSNY has made plans to rectify this situation by moving these trucks to a site near Luyster’s Creek, I am concerned that this plan is not being implemented until May 2018 — an eight-month delay from the administration’s initial promise of September 2017. I ask that the DSNY make any and all efforts to expedite this process to get these trucks off residential streets as soon as possible. Additionally, I am requesting a copy of the license agreement for this site for the review of my office.

Finally, I am happy that Mayor Bill de Blasio has pledged $142.6 million in capital funding for a new facility to relocate the Queens 1 district garage to a larger site. However, with the population in northwestern Queens expected to continue to grow in the coming years, we can only assume that the need for sanitation infrastructure will increase with it.

Can you share your plan as to how this project will accommodate short- and long-term sanitation needs within the community, and any other plans to address additional sanitation concerns in CB1 Queens?

Letitia James

Public Advocate

New York City

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