Border war! Queens rejects relocation of Greenpoint buses to Maspeth

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The city’s plan to move MTA buses from Brooklyn to Queens has ignited a border war!

Greenpoint residents pushed the city to secure a deal with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to relocate its bus depot from a waterfront lot on Commercial Street lot to a manufacturing-zoned asphalt patch in Maspeth.

But that plan hit a Queens-sized pothole — as community leaders there revolted last week.

“I am outraged and livid that the city would attempt to sneak a bus depot into Maspeth,” said Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D–Queens). “The plan is horrible, reckless and dangerous.”

But Greenpoint leaders argued that moving Access-A-Ride vehicles to an industrial site on the Queens side of the Grand Street Bridge would be harmless.

“I don’t believe that Greenpointers feel that emergency response vehicles have been an undue burden on the neighborho­od,” said Levin. “We just want the waterfront park that we were promised.”

As part of the 2005 waterfront rezoning agreement, the city promised to create a park on the city-owned site. But the MTA, which leases the property from the city, has not budged and has rejected alternative sites.

Two weeks ago, the MTA agreed to move the vehicles to Maspeth and to a site under the Williamsburg Bridge. But the inter-borough infighting could scuffle the deal.

Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D–Sunset Park), who could cut through the dispute because she represents parts of both affected areas, has only made it worse, indicating that she disapproves of both locations for the MTA vehicles.

That infuriated Brooklyn community leaders — who are urging her to reconsider her decision and advocate for Greenpoint’s park.

“We are very sensitive to the issue of being dumped on, but these two sites are not unsuitable, do not take away usable open space, will not have a negative impact on local residents,” Greenpoint residents Dewey Thompson and Christine Holowacz told Velazquez in a letter this week.

A source close to Velazquez said she would be more open to the Williamsburg Bridge site, as long more parkland is created on the Southside’s waterfront.

That seems reasonable to Community Board 1 member Ward Dennis, who thinks community leaders should continue to pressure the city for more waterfront park space in both boroughs.

“Instead of a substandard park inland, the Southside could get real waterfront access, a larger waterfront esplanade and substantially more open space,” said Dennis, on his blog, 11211. “For a neighborhood that has [the least] open space, this would be a huge step forward.”

Updated 5:23 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Paul from Qns says:
This group reeks of NIMBYism.
I can understand you want your waterside park. I want it too. Lived in G'point for 11 years. But not at the expense of the already overburdened people of Maspeth. Be more thoughtful than that. reach out to the folks in Maspeth and united, demand the City find an alternative.
March 14, 2011, 12:23 pm
linda from maspeth says:
To Paul thank you! Maspeth needs more people like you to understand that we are flooded with enough traffic. We're fighting to eliminate traffic not add. We already have the bus depot and also access vans in our community. Also we're looking to have a park! So Williamsburg is a site they should be looking into.
March 14, 2011, 6:06 pm
Southsider from Southside says:
If you read the article, you'd know that Williamsburg IS a site they are looking into. All the emergency vehicles in Greenpoint would be relocated to a site in Williamsburg. Unlike Maspeth, the Williamsburg site IS mapped parkland, and yet there is less squawking down here that from Maspeth.

Unless you have a commitment from the City to put a park on THE EXACT site the MTA is looking at, the reek of NIMBYism is just as ripe in Maspeth as it is in Greenpoint.

Meanwhile, if you want to pressure the city to create a new park in an suitable place in Maspeth, we'd be happy to help. We have plenty of experience (and once in a while some success) in pressuring the city to do what's right for our community.
March 14, 2011, 10:41 pm
Adina from Sunset Park says:
Leave it all alone. Sorry Greenpoint but when you make a deal with the devil to rezone an area so that developers could come in and destroy the culture of the neighborhood you should have expected to get screwed in the end.

Neither Maspeth nor the South Side should be burdened by the deal struck in Greenpoint. There should have been a better plan put in place before the first person signed the order to rezone the industrial sections of greenpoint.
March 15, 2011, 2:10 pm
Paul from Qns says:
"Southsider from Southside says:
...the reek of NIMBYism is just as ripe in Maspeth as it is in Greenpoint."

No, Maspeth has MORE than it's fair share. In fact, it's inundated:!/photo.php?fbid=10150123973069866&set=a.71130284865.70010.517129865&theater

For Maspeth it would be NA(nother)IMBYism.
March 16, 2011, 10:11 am
Paul from Qns says:
If the above link doesn't work (it's from FB), here's another link that should:
March 16, 2011, 10:16 am

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