Residents of 11th Street are sounding the alarm over a Fire Department plan to temporarily relocate another engine company alongside the two fire units on the block.
Ladder Company 122 and Engine Company 220 already call 11th Street home. And starting as early as next month, Engine 239, whose Fourth Avenue digs are being renovated, will join the party for up to 15 months.
Neighbors on 11th Street between Seventh and Eighth avenues are seeing red (and not just because there are already so many FDNY vehicles parked on the block).
“Our quality of life is going to be incredibly disrupted,” said resident Alan Horlick.
“Not only that, but this was a unilateral decision by the FDNY, and they didn’t tell anyone.”
Craig Hammerman at Community Board 6 confirmed that the board “only got a cursory, brief notice.”
“There was no invitation to discuss the issue or talk about alternatives,” said Hammerman, the CB6 district manager. “That showed a certain amount of insensitivity.”
Neighbors are mostly concerned about the added noise from a third fire company on the block, and the safety of their kids around the fire trucks, which, by design, tend to speed towards emergencies.
Parking is also a big issue (what a surprise).
“Sometimes I have to circle for 30 minutes to find someplace to park,” said Horlick. “And it’s just going to get worse.”
More than a dozen parking spaces on the block are already set aside for firefighters.
CB6 reacted to the firestorm by denying an FDNY request to set aside more “Official Use” parking spaces on the block.
For its part, the FDNY is standing firm on its decision.
“We are trying to accomplish this building renovation with minimal impact on the people they serve,” said Seth Andrews, a department spokesman.
“The firehouse on the 11th Street is the next best thing.”
Andrews also said the FDNY “sent out letters on Aug. 14, 2006 to every community board in the area — more than is required to keep everyone in the loop.”
FDNY officials will be present at the next Park Slope Civic Council meeting on Feb. 1 at 7:30 pm at Methodist Hospital (506 Sixth St. at Seventh Avenue). Call (718) 832-8227 for information.
©2007 Community News Group
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