Crown Heights street is more lake than roadway, residents say

A Google Maps image from June shows the pond covering most of the sidewalk.
Google Maps

Homeowners in Crown Heights have been forced to endure a massive, undying puddle on their block for more than a decade, and they claim the city is too cheap to mop it up. 

The huge pond forms along a curb on Midwood Street between Utica and Schenectady avenues, stretching in front of a whopping eight houses where the area’s disheveled street dips to create a shallow basin. 

And because there’s no drainage there, the pond lives throughout the year, causing locals to slip in the winter and hold their noses in the summer, according to one resident.

“In the summer it’s a swimming pool, in the winter it’s a skating rink,” said Bernadette Lewis, whose mother owns a house on the street between Utica and Schenectady Avenues. 

And while residents hate it, the raccoons love it, according to another Midwood Street dweller, who claims the vermin have gotten uppity feasting on the trash that collects in the nasty pool. 

“They own the block – they run up right in front of your face,” said Wanda Hillaire.

Locals have complained to the Department of Transportation about the pond for years, and in a December 2018 email shared with the Brooklyn Paper, Borough Commissioner Bray outlines a solution for the ponding which would essentially require the city completely redo the street, with new paving and curb cuts.

In a separate email from April 2019, Bray estimates the total cost of such an operation would be north of $4 Million. 

And that’s apparently more than the city is willing to spend on appeasing a small group of working-class Brooklynites, according to Hillaire, who said the city would rather spend the tax-payers’ money on ritzier parts of town. 

“This would never be in Park Slope,” said Hillaire. 

The Department of Transportation did not respond to a request for comment before deadline. The Department of Environmental Protection offered a terse, three-word statement. 

“DEP will investigate,” said department spokesman Edward Timbers. 

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