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Flatbush resident blasts idling buses

The Brooklyn Paper
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Fumes from idling school buses have at least one Flatbush resident fuminghimself.

Robert Sapp, who lives above the business he owns, Lindell Supply, at 1352 Flatbush Avenue, is hopping mad about the buses which park outside his premises regularly, spewing noxious exhaust and making it difficult for his customers to find parking.

The issue is twofold, Sapp stressed. For one thing, he is afraid that the fumes from the buses will negatively impact his well-being and the well-being of his family members, and other area residents.

“It’s affecting the health of my neighbors, the health of children and other people in my community,” Sapp complained during the December meeting of Community Board 14.

“I have a heart condition and this has been going on since 2006,” Sapp told his listeners gathered in the auditorium at Public School 249, Caton Avenue and Marlborough Road.

“It’s affecting my quality of life,” he went on.

In a subsequent interview, Sapp said that, in addition to his health concerns, his customers are being inconvenienced by the bus drivers. “I can’t get them to come into the store,” he told this paper.

He has tried to ask the bus drivers – who patronize a local grocery -- to be more considerate, Sapp said, “But they started using profanity.

“They told me they don’t want to block his business,” he went on, “so they block mine.

“My neighbors are scared,” he added, “but they say there’s nothing we can do about it.”

Sapp had forwarded a video of the idling buses to CB14, whose District Manager, Doris Ortiz, said that the video showed the buses idling on more than one occasion.

She contacted the 70th Precinct, Ortiz went on, whose officers have gone out to observe the location. While, she said, she was told that they did not see any bus idling on the occasions that they went there, “There are clearly buses idling, even if they don’t do it everyday.”

The precinct had assured her, Ortiz added, that she would continue to “monitor” the situation.

“We will continue to monitor it as well,” she went on. “to make sure the buses don’t idle there or to address it if they do.”

The problem of idling has gotten a good deal of attention in recent months.

Earlier this year, the city tackled the issue of vehicles idling outside schools, enacting legislation that reduced the allowable idling time for non-emergency vehicles from three minutes to one, in front of public and private schools, as well as other legislation that authorized the Department of Parks and Recreation and the Department of Sanitation to enforce idling restrictions in addition to those agencies currently authorized to enforce them.

At the time, Brooklyn City Councilmember David Yassky, thelead sponsor of the latter bill, had noted, “As a city, our asthma rate is through the roof. We’ve got idling laws on the books, but there’s no one around to enforce them. Drivers keep their engines going because they know they’ll get away with it.”

When he signed the legislation, Mayor Michael Bloomberg had emphasized the city’s commitment to cutting down on idling, noting, “Our Administra­tion’s PlaNYC commits to improving compliance with existing anti-idling laws through a targeted public awareness campaign, which will be launched this year, and also by increasing enforcement of these laws.”

Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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