Serving the Bogardus, Hillside, Ellwood and Nagle area of northern Manhattan.
Brief Summary of Meeting at 34th Precinct
Date: Apr 8, 2014 Time: 6 PM
Participants: Community Affairs Officer Christian Perez, Tangie Tucker, Rodrick Wallace, and Deborah Wallace
1) The first item of discussion was the Post Office fleet of trucks. The block association (BA) reps described the law-breaking driving (going the wrong way on Hillside and turning on the red light from Broadway/Nagle into Hillside, both left and right turns) and the various problems with truck parking (parking in crosswalks and in ways that block pedestrian views of traffic, the line of trucks parked along Hillside on the side opposite the PO so that drug-dealers can hide among the trucks and use their bumpers as drug stash places).
The illegal parking in crosswalks and other unwise places comes from the large number of trucks to be filled in the morning, as opposed to the small number of bays in the PO building (4). At the meeting, we estimated nine trucks that had to be filled. (note: Rod and Deb walked home from the meeting and saw 18 trucks parked around the PO and on Hillside, counting the Enterprise Rental trucks being used as postal trucks). Rod suggested that the PO and/or the NYC DOT apply systems analysis to this problem of queuing. This is a classical systems analytical problem.
We also noted that the employee parking on Hillside in the spaces that the truck occupy at night means that the sanitation street sweepers and the building super of 6-10 Hillside can never clean that curb and street area. There are always vehicles parked right up to the curb.
Officer Perez said that he would call the PO. He has done it before and things got better for a while. The BA reps pressed for a lasting solution, but could get no commitment for a problem-solving meeting between PDNY, NYCDOT, and USPS.
2) The second item of discussion was dog poop. Officer Perez suggested that we call 311 whenever we see anyone leaving his/her dog’s poop on the pavement. We would have to describe the person and the dog, and the responding unit would have to encounter them. The BA reps shook their heads over that.
The agencies responsible for enforcing the dog poop law are: Health Department, Sanitation, Parks (inside parks only), and NYPD. One problem is that the ticketing officer has to see the law broken in order to issue a ticket. Another problem is that Health and Sanitation don’t pony up any real resources for this particular enforcement.
The BA reps suggested that the 34th Precinct have an education-and-enforcement campaign with leaflets, conversations with dog owners walking their dogs, and a bit of ticketing. Officer Perez told us that Arlene Schulman’s posters had been put up in stores and other buildings by auxiliary police in the southern end of the district. He committed only to posting Arlene Schulman’s flyers, but left the other possible actions open. He did not say no to them but did not say yes.
Tangie thought that putting those little fences around the soil in which the street trees are planted might discourage dogs from pooping there. Officer Perez suggested getting funding from a city agency that doles out money for beautification. (After the meeting, Officer Perez e-mailed the name of that entity and contact info. It is an NGO: Citizens Committee for New York City).
Tangie also described how men have been repairing cars on Hillside Avenue and dumping black garbage bags into the city-owned little park/vacant lot next to the church. She had called Sanitation who told her that they would not clean up a lot unless it had at least two bathtubs worth of trash in it. Officer Perez recommended attending the monthly meetings of the community board where all the service agencies send reps and talking with Ebenezer Smith, the planning district manager.
The meeting ended with restatement of commitments as outlined above.