The Q at Parkside

(for those for whom the Parkside Q is their hometrain)

News and Nonsense from the Brooklyn neighborhood of Lefferts and environs, or more specifically a neighborhood once known as Melrose Park. Sometimes called Lefferts Gardens. Or Prospect-Lefferts Gardens. Or PLG. Or North Flatbush. Or Caledonia (west of Ocean). Or West Pigtown. Across From Park Slope. Under Crown Heights. Near Drummer's Grove. The Side of the Park With the McDonalds. Jackie Robinson Town. Home of Lefferts Manor. West Wingate. Near Kings County Hospital. Or if you're coming from the airport in taxi, maybe just Flatbush is best.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Waging War on Wubbish - The Worst Offenders List

Under the grit, grime and street trash we've got a really purty neighborhood. After the Mad Mamma's PLG Cleanup Day, the lady's and I have been thinking of ways to address the problem of garbage in a full-court press. After walking around and noticing that once again certain landlords, merchants and supers were flouting the law and showing contempt for us all, I started thinking about creating a Worst Offenders List. I think that if we put pressure on the 10 worst spots, we'd see a radical difference in the neighborhood. I think people would be less likely to throw out personal garbage on the curb if there were no one else doing it. And I've noticed for my own block that when I clean up regularly, fewer people litter. It's like people subconsciously know when it's okay to add to the filth. Not to be a dweeb, or member of the dork club...but it's sad and demoralizing to kick your way through trash every day.

So here's what I'm asking of you all! Send me your "worst offenders." Just an address and description is fine, but a picture would be even better. I'll publish your nominations on an ongoing basis. When you read one of these posts, promptly call 311 to log a complaint. It's that simple! You can also report violations here: Violations. You could do it while you're bored at work...but please join in. They really do send people out to check up on these reports.

Okay, I'll go first. Here's my first nomination for worst offender! Right outside The Original Struggs and Rhythm Splash at 675 Flatbush between Winthrop and Hawthorne, it always, always looks like this in the tree pit:

I've got nothing against either business. They both seem like cool folks. BUT it is most definitely THEIR responsibility to deal with this. The law is super clear (I love the last sentence:

Under the Enforcement Routing Program, enforcement agents patrol all
commercial and industrial blocks at specified times focusing on violations for
dirty sidewalks and failure to clean 18 inches into the street. During the
enforcement routing time, when enforcement agents observe a dirty sidewalk or
an 18 inch violation in front of/adjacent to a commercial or industrial premise, a
notice of violation will be issued. Although enforcement agents will issue notices
for dirty sidewalk or failure to clean 18 inches into the street violations only
during the specified 2 one-hour daily routing time periods, they may issue notices
for all other violations at any time. Although the commercial routing times vary
by Sanitation District/Section where the business is located, all
commercial premises should be maintained (the sidewalk and the area 18 inches
from the curb) at the beginning and end of the day. This makes good business
sense and helps keep the community clean.

I say, let's ticket them into compliance. I'll try calling them directly to let them know what we're up to, and to give them a chance to comply. By the way, the full pamphlet on Sanitation Rules is here. Check it out; it's a bizarrely fascinating read.

Another worst offender is 647 Flatbush, and the problem is with residential garbage, undealt with and uncovered like this:

Somebody clearly agreed that this was a major drag...cause this is what was waiting for the owner this morning - a $300 ticket.

So that's the Q's cockamamie plan. Comments most welcome!


Tedco said...

To easily remember the URL for that violation page, I created a short cut ->

Tedco said...

and it’s a good plan, mr Q - and it could ripple out further. It's the broken window syndrome - explained in the book tipping point when they applied that to subways. stop tolerating graffiti and fare evaders, and like magic the violent crimes went down too.

babs said...

Unfortunately, the DOS's habit of simply slapping a ticket on the offending building in question has very little effectiveness when the owner of the premises doesn't live there and, most likely, is seldom around. In the case of 647 Flatbush, for example, the current owner (as of 9/2010), John Gray, lives at 423 Lincoln Pl., according to the deed filed at the time of the sale. Sending the ticket to the owner would help. Of course, various members of the Gray family have owned this building since at least 1980, swapping it among themselves and various LLCs whenever the tax liens and DOB fines got too onerous, or whenever a need for cash necessitated a new non-arm's-length sale and mortgage. Can the leopard change its spots? I'm kind of pessimistic here, but perhaps if enough pressure is brought to bear from the community, I'll be proved wrong. In that hope, I'm with you!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for bringing up the issues of trash in the neighborhood.
It's the single most embarrassing thing about the neighborhood, since it's not about money or education, just peoples total lack of pride in their neighborhood.