A little lube goes a long way.
That’s the message a local lawmaker is trying to impress upon the New York City Transit Authority, whose D train is making life a loud and living hell for Bensonhurst locals.
But the squeaky wheel, at least so far, isn’t getting the grease, according to Assemblymember Bill Colton.
“Noise always takes a backseat priority, but when noise not only threatens the health and hearing of residents as well as businesses…that is when NYC Transit has to realize that it is not only a noise problem,” Colton said.
The lawmaker said the agency recently replaced rails along the elevated train line — but failed to activate automatic track lubricators.“Not only is this in the interest of helping the quality of life of neighbors, it’s also in the interest of NYC Transit because they are protecting the equipment that you hear squealing and grinding on the metal tracks,” Colton said.
Transit spokesperson Charles Seaton said all track lubrication equipment was removed in the area of the 25th Avenue station to accommodate track panel replacement along the West End line. Once the track work was completed,he said, track lubrication equipment was reinstalled in the same locations.
“In response to the noise complaints, track supervision inspected the site on December 21 and extra track lubricators were installed and adjustments were made for additional lubrication,” Seaton said. “Subsequent inspections have found that these corrective measures have greatly reduced the noise level.However, we expect further noise reductions as the new track wears in.”
But Louis Gellman’s not buying it. The owner of Hilna Motors, an automotive repair and tire shop at Stillwell Avenue and 86th Street said the noise continues to be deafening — and it’s hurting his business. “I can’t stand outside and talk to the customers,” he said. “I can’t function since they put the tracks in. The noise is totally unbearable.”
Gellman said he’s seen transit workers come to the area to address the problem, but little has changed — and he’s not quite sure the track lubricators are even working. “I park my car under the tracks every day. After 30 days, I should have grease [that has dripped down from the track] on the roof of my Chevy van. Obviously, the city is lying.”
Colton said he measured a noise reading as high as 102 dBnear the Brooklyn bound D travelling near Gellman’s shop, which has stood in the shadow of the elevated train line for three decades. By comparison, power lawn mowers, motorcycles and jackhammers generate 100 dB.
“I don’t know what to do,” Gellman said. “I’m completely out of my mind with this.”
If the situation is not remedied, Colton said he plans to introduce legislation that could reintroduce a state statute that would compel NYC Transit to improve noise levels throughout the city’s vast transportation network — with the first stop being in Bensonhurst.