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West Street becomes home to genuine trailer trash

Jon Kosar and his neighbors want this trailer removed from West Street in Greenpoint. It showed up out of nowhere eight weeks ago.
Photo by J.J. Despain

What the truck is going on here?

Greenpoint residents are bewildered that their neighborhood has become a dumping ground for tractor-trailers, which have amassed on West Street for the past two months.

“They’re a nuisance and they don’t belong there,” said Greenpoint resident Ed Michaleski. “It’s an eyesore.”

Several boxy 70-foot trailers, balanced by a pair of rear tires and a rusted metal support leg, have been parked on industrial West Street near residential side streets, Oak and Calyer, and adjacent to an empty waterfront lot.

The trailers stay at the site for several days at a time.

One, which doesn’t have license plates, hasn’t moved in eight weeks, while others are hitched and unhitched at its owner’s whims, according to neighbors.

John Kosar says he has seen some trucks locked by a rolling gate inside an industrial property near the end of West Street — he expects them to return.

“We always see these commercials and posters from the city that say, ‘If you see something, say something,’” said Kosar. “We hope that the truck is just empty and nothing horrible that can cause terror to the community.”

Residents rallied to shut down a promoter’s plan for a night bazaar at the site two weeks ago citing concerns over a swell of thousands of drunken revelers — but removing the trailers and fixing industrial fences on West have been more challenging.

But residents and environmental advocates say that could change.

Last month, the city sued a Greenpoint property owner to tear down a fence on Noble Street preventing the public’s access to the waterfront.

And supporters of the Brooklyn Greenway, a 14-mile bicycle and pedestrian pathway from Greenpoint to Sunset Park that includes a portion of West Street, say that the days where vehicles can be left along the waterfront streets are over.

“A lot of the waterfront has been like that, but there are more eyes on the waterfront these days,” said Brooklyn Greenway Initiative Co-founder Brian McCormick. “If it’s not legal for them to be there, then they should be removed and the law should be enforced.”

Michaleski hopes to walk his son’s dogs on West Street without encountering abandoned trailers and encroaching fences.

“If West Street ever becomes a better street, like Franklin Street, those trailers are going to be a hindrance,” said Michaleski.

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