COMET Vice President Richard Gundlach, Assembly Member Marge Markey, COMET President Roe Daraio, Council Member James Van Bramer, Maspeth Chamber of Commerce member Tony Nunziato, Juniper Park Civic Association President Robert Holden, Council Member Elizabeth Crowley at March 4th press conference about proposed MTA depot in Maspeth.
THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK
OFFICE OF COUNCIL MEMBER JIMMY VAN BRAMER
47-01 QUEENS BLVD, SUITE 205
SUNNYSIDE, NY 11104
**FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – MARCH 4th 2011**
CITY & MTA IN A RUSH TO DUMP DEPOT IN MASPETH
Council Members Van Bramer, Crowley, Assemblywoman Marge Markey and Local Elected Officials unite with Concerned Residents to speak out against the Proposed Location
On Friday, March 4thCouncil Member Jimmy Van Bramer, Council Member Elizabeth Crowley and Assemblywoman Marge Markey united with local elected officials and concerned residents to speak out against the city and MTA’s proposed Bus Depot site in Maspeth. The proposed site on 49th Street and Galasso Place would be the third MTA depot in an area that is already saturated with commercial traffic. The rush job in selecting Maspeth as a potential site has raised concerns about the secretive process that gave no notice to the community or to local elected officials.
The selection process by the city and the MTA for potential locations fails to include notice to local elected officials and community members – a key element for any development decision that greatly impacts the quality of life in the area. There has been no environmental impact study to determine the impact that the bus depot will have on the community and there are no estimates as to how much remediation cleanup will cost taxpayers. The lack of community input, paired with the lack of such essential decision making information has caused great concerns by Council Members Van Bramer, Crowley and Assemblywoman Markey who united with local elected officials and residents to protest against the proposed location.
“Maspeth cannot and will not be a dumping ground for MTA Depots,” said Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer. “The attempt by the city and the MTA to consider this location without taking into consideration the environmental impact to the area or the community’s input is troubling. There are five other boroughs and the MTA and the city need to dump this depot somewhere else. Maspeth needs more green space – not additional traffic and pollution.”
"Maspeth residents have been burdened with the City’s truck traffic for over a decade—we need to be greening these streets, not polluting them,” said Council Member Elizabeth Crowley. “As the community looks forward to finally implementing the Maspeth Bypass Plan that will reduce truck traffic on our local streets, the MTA’s plan for a Maspeth Bus Depot will sets us back to ground zero. I stand with my colleagues in government and the residents of Maspeth when I tell the MTA to do right by Queens and keep the Bus Depot out of Maspeth."
“Maspeth is already doing its share for the MTA as the home of two transit facilities,” said Assemblywoman Margaret Markey. “This third depot does not belong here. Just as we are seeing progress in our decade-long fight to reduce the commercial traffic that clogs the streets and pollutes the air in Maspeth, this project is a set-back that we cannot accept. Less congestion, safer streets and better air quality is what we need, not a third MTA transit depot.”
“Apparently the MTA doesn’t think it is bad enough that Maspeth residents already have to deal with a barrage of truck traffic. If they did, they wouldn’t be discussing the possibility of relocating a bus depot into the community – a move that would bring even more pollution, noise and disruption to Maspeth,” said Rep. Crowley. “Maspeth residents have been plagued by excessive traffic for far too long, and it is time for that to end. I urge the City to reconsider the plans to transplant the bus depot to Maspeth and to take into account both the concerns of the community and the impact on the environment. Maspeth residents must not only be heard, but listened to.”
“I am concerned with the plan to relocate the MTA bus depot to Maspeth,” said Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan. “The lack of notification and community input is alarming.”
“What Maspeth needs is more green space, not another bus depot,” said Queens Borough President Helen Marshall. “When it comes to traffic, Maspeth is already receiving more than its fair share. And, when it comes to the number of MTA depots in one community, Maspeth already has two.”
"The MTA is outrageously favoring one neighborhood over another without the courtesy of even notifying the affected community," stated State Senator Michael Gianaris. "Maspeth already has two other bus depots and a plethora of truck traffic on its local streets. It is time to stop dumping on Maspeth and give the residents of Queens the respect we deserve."
“I strongly oppose burdening Maspeth with a third bus depot,” said Assembly Member Michael Miller. “The local residents should not be forced to cope with the additional environmental strain. Maspeth’s transit infrastructure is already overstressed. Also, there is no reason to reach this decision in secrecy, with no public input. This is unhealthy, unsafe, and unfair."
Although no final decision has been made by the MTA and the city as to where the bus depot will be placed, it is clear that elected officials and Maspeth residents will fight to protect their community.