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Perry Decries Slippery Flatbush Streets; Blames DOS

Why are the streets of East Flatbush so slippery after a winter snowstorm? It might just be because the equipment assigned by the Department of Sanitation (DOS) to work the area’s roadways first have to do duty clearing a large section of the Belt Parkway, even though the Belt Parkway at no location adjoins the community board. That’s not the way it should be, contends Assemblymember Nick Perry, who witnessed a DOS salter skid on the icy roadway at Foster and Utica Avenues, and careen into a row of parked cars after the last, light snowfall. “East Flatbush’s streets are not being salted and plowed in a timely manner,” he complained in a phone interview. “When we have a small snowstorm, when the weather is severely cold, it turns to ice, and it’s almost always treacherous, especially at the intersections, where the ice has formed. I have been a victim of that myself,” Perry recalled. East Flatbush is being treated differently from other Brooklyn neighborhoods, Perry suggested. “The policy is not equitable,” he asserted during the January meeting of Community Board 17, which was held at Meyer Levin Intermediate School, I.S. 285, 5905 Beverley Road. “It’s just not fair.” While CB 17’s trucks are diverted to the Belt, Perry said, trucks from neighboring CB 18, which borders the Belt, have no such responsibility. “There is no reason why CB 17’s equipment should be on the belt when CB 18’s equipment is not on the Belt Parkway,” Perry added. “From as far back as I can remember, this is what has been happening,” noted Perry, who had been chairperson of CB 17 from 1987-1992. “I have asked for a review when we have had situations like this. I raised the issue with the current commissioner and with his predecessor. They always promise to take a look at it and get back to me, but they have not. I don’t think it’s because of any intention not to do so. I think the request for review is getting lost in the shuffle.” Is there any way of getting the situation resolved? “I believe the people in East Flatbush, district 17, need to make a lot of noise about this so we get treated fairly,” rejoined Perry. “I think it’s inequitable to ask board 17 to endure dangerous and life-threatening conditions on its streets while we clean a roadway that does not adjoin board 17 at any point.” One possible solution, suggested Perry, would be to salt CB 17 streets in advance of the storm, if there is sufficient notice. “Upstate, in Albany, the streets are salted as soon as they hear a storm is on the way. I don’t see why our main thoroughfares couldn’t have been salted in advance of the icy conditions that would occur here. The salter came out after several accidents had occurred, and after it had salted the Belt Parkway.” Kathy Dawkins, a spokesperson for DOS, said that, “During that particular storm (referred to by Perry), we had many roads throughout the city that were slippery due to weather conditions. Even in districts without nearby highways, we had icy roads. We are aware of the situation, and we are going to work with the community board to explain the snow procedures so they know what we are trying to achieve.” As for pre-salting streets, Dawkins said, “We don’t pre-treat streets because the salt wouldn’t adhere. It would just bounce.”

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