Truck stop on Columbia Street pleases locals

The Brooklyn Paper
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Columbia Street residents are thrilled that the beverage trucks that once plied their quiet street have been re-routed onto the Brooklyn–Queens Expressway, bringing to an end a familiar controversy in which locals wrestled with the growing port on the waterfront.

The showdown began in May when Phoenix Beverages — a beer distributor in the port between Atlantic Avenue and Bowne Street — began sending its trucks down Columbia Street though it had promised not to do so.

Eventually, Teamsters, bosses from Phoenix Beverages, local pols and residents reached a compromise in which the trucks would bypass Columbia Street by driving on the BQE between Hamilton to Atlantic avenues.

“We’re extraordinarily happy,” said Brian McCormick, a member of the Columbia Waterfront Neighborhood Association. “The trucks are pretty much gone. There is a system in place that is working, and we’re hoping that will continue.”

The trucks are expected to continue cruising on the BQE until the chronically delayed reconstruction of Van Brunt Street is completed, opening up the proper truck route from Degraw Street to Hamilton Avenue (officials say the work could be done next summer).

Meanwhile, the compromise that brought an end to the booze cruise on Columbia Street is being hailed by local pols.

“Phoenix and the Teamsters were willing to adopt a solution that really costs them some money,” said Councilman Brad Lander (D–Park Slope), who was involved in negotiations with the beverage company. “It does add a meaningful amount of time to each of those [truck drivers’] shifts.”

Lander said that several permanent routes are being considered for the trucks once the reconstruction of Van Brunt Street is completed, including keeping the trucks on the BQE, having them travel within the port, or managing the times trucks are allowed to travel on Columbia Street.

For the last several years, other showdowns between the port and local residents have not ended so amicably.

The massive salt pile stored at the port — used to prevent roads from icing over in the winter — has occasionally coated the neighborhood in America’s favorite spice, and remains a major concern among residents near Columbia Street.

The idling cruise ships docked at the port also remain a concern because of the stunning amount of pollution they produce.

But state Sen. Daniel Squadron (D–Brooklyn Heights), said that the solution with Phoenix Beverages sets a good example for other issues that will inevitably arise as the Columbia Street Waterfront develops alongside the port.

“It certainly bodes well,” said Squadron. “We know that a growing neighborhood and a working waterfront present challenges, but this is a great road map for how to work in the future.”

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Reader Feedback

Joey from Clinton Hills says:
wouldn't want any beer to fall off the back of the truck
Nov. 9, 2010, 10:44 am
Lillie Marshall from Redhook West says:
I am happy that you are happy with regards to the beer company. Lay off the cruise lines it's not in Redhook that much and the jobs are needed.
Nov. 10, 2010, 8:06 am
local worker from red hook says:
to bad they break all safety rules and have the men working in fear and when 2 shopstewards tryed to attend a safety meating before working hours they were fired and in trying to fight the case well the everybody turned they back on them so now the man that work there work in fear for there jobs if there follow thw rules or ? the rules they will be fired like the two stewards were
Nov. 10, 2010, 9:20 pm
local worker from red hook says:
to tom hogan and spookie rod the stewards that were fired thank u for trying to help us but when a company has the money that phoeinx has u cant win
Nov. 10, 2010, 9:22 pm
Local Worker from Red Hook says:
Maybe they fired cause they did not follow rules. Most union peeple notorious for not follow rules. Unions never have company interests in mind and rarely the workers truly in mine. Dey only out to screw people. Those workers even divers get away with murder the company suffers. They worker suffer too. Everyone need just do they job and follow rules, everyone make out dat way. Company can be there for employees if they r not ahead of them and dancing around union politics.
Nov. 10, 2010, 9:39 pm
Robert from Carroll Gardens says:
Is the Brooklyn Paper doing story about what these fired stewards and their co-workers are writing about here ?.... sounds like it needs some clarification.
Nov. 12, 2010, 7:53 am
a worker from phoenix from red hook says:
no the brooklyn paper and the daily news people did not write what realy went down there that came from heat from phoenix owners and the case is that the 2 stewards got fired for trying to attend a meeting before work hours to stop mangers from strong arming members from the union to do wrong to get back to the hub for that 2nd load plus the stewards have pics and more proff of stuff that the union and phoenix dont want to get out but they need someone who will take there case that wont be strongarmed by the union or phoenix and that costs money for a lawer plus the UNION and PHOENIX dont care about redhook they told the 2 stewards that and more right now the board of labor is looking in to it but they need more help to get info to then write a comment here with your email and i will let them know
Nov. 12, 2010, 11:57 pm
a worker from phoenix from red hook says:
any body that wants to help them or knows a real good lawer to help leave your email here for them to see
Nov. 12, 2010, 11:59 pm

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