An idea whose time has come

Dear Assembly Member Barnwell,  

I saw in your newsletter that you support the bill to make the city responsible for sidewalk repairs. Making homeowners responsible for repairing the sidewalk is an unfair burden to a homeowner. In 45 years the tree in front of my home has lifted the sidewalk and we paid to have it fixed twice and now it has cracked the curb and sidewalk again. Two years ago, I heard the city had a program to repair sidewalks if it was caused by a street tree. When I called the Parks Dept. I was told the list is long and there are no funds at the moment. So in the meanwhile I could get a summons and be sued if someone got hurt. 

Last month NYCDOT gave out summonses on my block for damaged sidewalks and I got one too. The summons states that if a defect is caused by a tree the city will pay. A neighbor has been trying since 1996 to have his sidewalk repaired, someone fell and he will pay medical costs and she says she won't sue him. He went and hired a contractor because he couldn't wait for the city. 

Last year my family that lives in Maspeth had the same experience with DOT coming on the block and giving out summonses to many homes. My family got a summons and there was not one tripping hazard - only superficial cracks. It cost them $3,000 and even the contractor couldn't believe he was breaking up such good concrete. 

Some neighbors claim the trucks that did the borings for bioswale placement caused cracks. Trucks can crack a 4″ thick sidewalk, that's why driveways are 7' thick. If the city wants to place a tree or a bioswale or any other utilities then the city should pay for the sidewalk. 

This bill makes so much sense. Instead of the homeowner looking for a reliable contractor the city will have the responsibility. Instead of the homeowner getting sued if someone gets hurt plus looking at lawyer costs and increases to insurance the city will be responsible. A property owner should only be responsible for their property not a public sidewalk. This bill should have been passed years ago. 

Thank You.

Richard Polgar 

Commuter Woes

The subject of terrible subway service has been beaten to death. What also persists is a local issue- the Q38 bus service servicing Middle Village and Maspeth, Bus service is sparse during the evening rush hour and promises for a horrendous commute.  

Daily, the line from the train station at Woodhaven Boulevard is, without exaggeration, outrageous. I write this with full understanding that this is a busy holiday busy season and there is heavy traffic is everywhere. The bus service should account for this long-term issue by bringing out more buses in service. 

The wait is often 30 minutes for a single bus after 5:30 pm. The MTA dispatcher is nowhere to be found (he sits in his car). If you do not catch the 5:30 bus you will be stranded and wait in the cold. Moreover, there is not enough light and bus shelter to protect from the elements. While the 38 bus service has always had these issues, with increased ridership it is miserable. With the MTA bus tracker you can see in real time that there are not enough buses during rush hour.  

Don't get me wrong, the Q29 also has a wait time but nowhere near as bad. 

With this being a consistent problem, 5 days a week, what's a working person to do?   

Name withheld 

Glendale needs help with its traffic and safety 

For years I have written letters to various agencies and officials asking for the dangerous intersection of Myrtle Avenue and 80th Street to be addressed.  Currently, when the Q29 bus ends its route it parks on 80th Street at Myrtle Avenue.  These buses occupy the entire south-bound lane, requiring cars to move partly into the north-bound lanes to pass.  The buses also block the view of all traffic on 80th west of the intersection.  There have been several near misses involving cars and people due to the buses presence.  The city needs to move parked Q29 buses to its first stop on 81st street where it can occupy its assigned stop without causing a hazard for people and vehicles. 

Michael Josephson 

Trashing Woodhaven Blvd

Ever since the initial SBS proposals for the Woodhaven Blvd. area were put forth, the community raised questions about maintenance of the new bus stops.  These included snow removal, roadway beautification, and trash removal. The community concerns were ignored by the city.  This memo is to particularly address trash accumulation.  The new SBS bus stops are disgusting.  Attached are pictures that were taken this afternoon on the bus stop on the southwest corner of Woodhaven Blvd. and Jamaica Avenue.

Woodhaven is not a Sanitation dumping ground.  Passengers are dropping garbage every day.  Today was the worst yet. But the question is, where are they supposed to put it? DOT never made provision for garbage cans to be put on the stops.  Not 1 stop in the area has one.  Many letters have been written to DOT and MTA by our elected officials, community board leaders, and civic groups.  

S. Forte

Maspeth Traffic Study under review

Mr. Gary Giordano
District Manager, Community Board 5

Dear Mr. Giordano: At the request of your office on behalf of the residents in the area, the New York City Department of Transportation conducted an area wide study of the streets encompassed by the following boundaries: Garfield Avenue to the north, 74 Street to the east, Grand Avenue to the south and 71″ Street to the west. The purpose of this investigation was to see the feasibility of converting streets within this area to one-way operations to enhance traffic circulation and safety. We have completed our review. Based on our findings, we recommend the following changes to reduce opposing vehicle conflicts and sideswipes as well as other challenges that the current two- way configuration creates for all street users:

1) Convert 71st Street one-way southbound from Garfield Avenue to 53 Avenue.
2) Convert 72nd Street to one-way northbound from Calamus Avenue to 51″ Avenue and one- way southbound from Calamus Avenue to Grand Street.
3) Convert 72nd Place to one-way southbound from 51″ Road to Calamus Avenue and one-way northbound from Grand Street to Calamus Avenue.
4) Convert 73rd Street to one-way southbound from 52nd Avenue to Grand Avenue.
5) Convert 74th Street to one-way northbound from Grand Avenue to 5lsr Road.
6) Convert 51st Road to one-way westbound from 74' Street to 51 Avenue.

We are requesting that your Community Board review the proposed changes and advise us by April 2018 of its determination.


Nicole Garcia
DOT Queens Borough Commissioner

Hail and farewell

Dear Juniper Berry:

A man who recently died was an avid reader of your Juniper Berry Publication and wished to have his obituary placed in your next issue if possible.  I have included the obituary below. 

Brucale, Frank A. - Died on Wednesday, January 3, 2018 at the age of 78. He was the beloved husband of Joyce Brucale, loving father of Donna Brucale and Frank Brucale Jr., and cherished grandfather of Gianna Marie.  Mass of Christian Burial was offered at Our Lady of Hope Church on Monday, January 8, 2018 at 9:45 AM.  Interment followed at Maple Grove Cemetery, Kew Gardens, NY under the direction of Papavero Funeral Home, 72-27 Grand Avenue Maspeth, NY 11378.

Joseph Papavero

Treasuring the trolleys

Dear Editor,

Thanks for printing my previous articles. I enjoyed all the Juniper Berry Maspeth stories. Your piece on the Metropolitan Avenue trolley line extension was interesting. It was a bold stroke extending this trolley line in 1917, thus helping to develop the communities between Middle Village and Jamaica. The BRT (later BMT) management was both bold and innovative, pioneering in the development of the state of the art PCC (President's Conference Committee) streetcar, ordering 100 in 1936, the first streetcar operator to do so. Incidentally, it was originally Queens-Nassau, later it was changed to Queens Transit.

John A. Roberts
Middle Village

Movin' kind of slow at the junction

Last night my husband was in a car accident on Penelope Avenue and 84th Street at 6PM. He was driving on Penelope Avenue toward Woodhaven Blvd.  Thankfully no injuries incurred.  There was a large Con-Ed truck working on Penelope Avenue.  The Con-Ed truck waved on the car coming from 84th Street onto Penelope Avenue.  The driver responded to the wave and took off at a good speed onto Penelope Ave… hence the accident.

The police were called several times.  Both autos waited it out.  Con Edison stayed for at least 3 hours. The 104 Precinct showed up at 10 of 1AM!?!?

Between the huge sewer project, the local bus service and the 104 precinct where are we living?
Petticoat Junction?

Lifelong Middle Village residents