Here we go again. It took me a flat tire to hear the Biggest Screech in New York City.
I won’t say discover because the Transit Authority knows all about it but refuses to remedy the problem. Talk about deferred maintenance! Talk about stupid indifference.
Saturday, driving my wife Sharon to her doctor, I had a blowout on the Belt Parkway.
Hearing the bang, I knew the tire was shot and decided to drive with it to the doctors, and then call AAA for assistance while waiting for Sharon. After a half hour wait, the AAA truck came and in a blink of an eye, my donut was placed on the rim and we were off to buy a tire.
As fate would have it, the tire store was just around the corner from my mother’s house on Bay 41st Street and oddly enough where I lived until I got married (pre-Big Screechers.) While sitting in the car waiting to be served, the trains started screeching as they were passing by to Stillwell Avenue. Now after 30 years of fighting the Transit Authority with the Big Screechers, I am considered an expert on screeching and train noise. Well, this had to be the loudest screeching I’ve heard in three decades.
The owner of Hilna Motor Services has been complaining to the Transit Authority (TA) since the new track work was finished a few months ago; the TA sent down several investigators at different times.According to Lou, the owner, he swears he is going deaf. The investigators said that the screeching is because the wheels aren’t getting lubricated as they make the curve. Why? Because of too many complaints by pedestrians and car owners who are getting hit by the falling grease that is ruining the paint on the cars. Pedestrians say it is worse than pigeon poop.
Now I realize that noise always takes a back priority, especially with this economic climate and the MTA who just happens to be the largest property owner in the City of New York, is always crying poverty, continually threatening to cut service, impose higher fares and defer maintenanc
So here is a perfect example of deferring maintenance by not installing track lubricators that will prevent the wheels from grinding up the new track work they just did. Let me recap that, the TA will not put track lubricators that emit grease on the wheels as they pass by, which will grind away the new rails. Have you ever noticed how quiet the passing trains are when it rains? No screeching -- the rain acts as a lubricant.
Needless to say, this screeching noise has been reported to me continually through the years by residents who own homes near the tire shop. One TA investigator told Lou the Hilna owner that by not having track lubricators on the corner of 86th Street into Stillwell at 26th Ave, “they’re going to ruin everything they just did!”
To be continued, as the Screechers meet to meet the new menace to everyone’s hearing and the new track work!
Screech at you next week!
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