An empty Metropolitan Transportation Authority lot on 66th Street has become a garbage-strewn eyesore that stinks to high heaven in the summer, say Bensonhurst residents and merchants who want the state agency to fence off and clean out the property.
MTA officials say they are trying to get rid of the small lot near Bay Parkway, but that news has done little to quell enraged residents who claim that the property has become a neighborhood waste station for illegal dumpers wanting to get rid of everything from construction debris to dirty diapers.
“People drive here and leave bags of trash, and we got rats and roaches,” said neighbor Hy Doe, who claims that he has repeatedly called 311 about the illegal dumping, but nothing has been done. “Somebody’s got to watch the lot at night, from 9 till sun-up. The city used to have guys driving around who looked for these things.”
Nearby merchants who have witnessed the illegal dumping agreed.
“Somebody stops a car, and they’ll leave something,” said Sal Aizah, owner of the 24-hour Star Deli Grocery across the street from the lot. “Somebody else will see that garbage, and they’ll leave something. Then somebody else drives up and sees that and so they leave something. It builds up.”
Assemblyman Bill Colton (D–Bensonhurst) said he’s been fielding complaints about the lot for nearly seven months, and has repeatedly demanded that the city’s Department of Sanitation clean the lot on a regular basis.
But Colton doesn’t just want the lot cleaned out — which the city’s Department of Sanitation did last week — he wants the dumpers to be found and dealt with.
“We’ve been trying to get them to open up the bags and see if they can find a name or an address inside and conduct an investigation,” Colton said.
The situation has gotten so bad that Community Board 11 passed a resolution calling on the authority to raise a fence around the property, but MTA officials wouldn’t comment on whether they would do so.
“It may be more practical for us to examine our needs with an eye towards disposing of this property,” MTA spokesman Charles Seaton said.