NORTH BROOKLYN – At the community council meeting for the 94th precinct last week, residents of Greenpoint and Williamsburg voiced concerns about truck traffic in their neighborhoods.
Truck traffic—and accidents—have been under a microscope after the death of Neftaly Ramirez, a bicyclist struck and killed by a garbage truck in late July.
Neighbors complained about “renegade” garbage trucks in the area, alleging the trucks are speeding, driving on the sidewalk, and going the wrong way down one way streets—usually at night.
Precinct Captain Peter Rose encouraged residents to take down times and locations of truck violations they witness and send them to the station for follow-up.
Going a step further, Assistant Chief Jeffrey Maddrey, who was present at the meeting, asked for the names of companies whose trucks community members had witnessed driving recklessly.
“I assure you that we’re gonna go over there and personally talk to the people in charge… We’re gonna put them on notice,” he said. Maddrey, the commanding officer officer of Patrol Borough Brooklyn North, promised “strict enforcement” when it came to trucks in the neighborhood.
Council Member Stephen Levin, who represents the 33rd council district, was also at the meeting.
“Obviously, the streets in our neighborhood aren’t safe,” said the council member.
Levin mentioned a North Brooklyn transportation study, undertaken in conjunction with the Department of Transportation, with results due in coming months. He said he discussed whether Franklin Street in Greenpoint needs to remain a through truck route with the DOT and emphasized the need for safety and infrastructure improvements in the area.
Additionally, Council Member Levin mentioned Intro 495, a bill designed to cap the amount of waste processed in North Brooklyn transfer stations—a move that has the potential reduce truck traffic in the area. With mayoral support, the bill may pass this year.
In Bushwick, a group of residents has filed a lawsuit against a local waste transfer station they say creates nuisance conditions—including dangerous truck traffic.
In the meantime, residents noticing violations by private carting trucks should note the location and time of violations, taking pictures if possible, and report them to 311 and the 94th precinct.