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, November 15, 2011

First Downs Lead to Touchdowns

A couple of good news stories to report. Squeaky wheels squoke loudly in the last few months, and proud to say that we've actually gotten a couple of things done around here. First up, I've been nagging Pearl Miles at the Community Board about the trees on Parkside near Flatbush that died during last year's drought. She came through big time, and I'm thrilled to share this pic of the new Popeye's lovin' trees, leafless of course at this time of year, that have replaced the Lorax lumps:

Rudy of the Parkside Prize will attest to how happy I must be, and I am, because for some reason those stumps got me madder than a wet hen driving the BQE. I know it's pretty silly to care so much about street trees, but I really do think Parkside is need of more fresh oxygen, among other things.

Second, there's a new bus shelter going up on Flatbush at Midwood. Mindy on Rutland kept the fire burning on that one...all I did was amplify the squeak a bit. I'll keep lobbying for more - now I know it can be done - especially at Caton, Parkside. Credit for squeaking early goes to Hawthorne Street, who indelicately asked for bus shelters many moons ago.

My hat is off to Pearl, our district manager, for putting up with all the whining from us OCD-types and coming through big time. She knows everybody in City government, and she can make shite happen. Thank Pearl!

There's a bunch of other NE Flatbush pet peeve stuff in various stages of adjustment, from traffic to trees to trash to safety to dem krazy green sheet metal treez at Flatbush/Empire (more on that soon). But I'm feeling good, so let me open the floor - if you can change one thing for the better near where you live, what would it be? Don't be shy. Maybe it can't be done, or maybe all your neighbors disagree with you. But lay it on me. Suggestion box now officially open.


Rudy on Winthrop said...


Ceelledee said...

In line with the traffic-calming DOT changes to be made to the intersection of Ocean and Parkside: Change the 4 lanes of traffic on Ocean between Lincoln and Parkside into single lanes of traffic in each direction). Install an attractive, planted median in the middle. This would be similar to what was done on Vanderbilt, coming off the circle at the GAP. I'm thinking this would help to cut down on the ridiculous amount of speeding,lane changing, double parking on this section of Ocean, thus making the street safer for everyone.

Anonymous said...

Wow, that's amazing. I'm now motivated to start a campaign to get the gas station between Lincoln and Lefferts/Washington and Flatbush under control.

Drivers do not distinguish between pedestrian crosswalks (with curb cuts to accomodate all walks of life) from entrances to the gas station. Several people I know have been almost run over, and I've had several instances in which a driver looked at me as if I was blocking the road while I was waiting at the corner for the light to change. Traffic bollards would solve the problem.

The situation also leads to cars running red lights and basically driving the wrong way down a one way street as well (Washington).

Anonymous said...

I am ridiculously thrilled about the new trees and mound of mulch. Thank you! Other dreams I dare dream: taking down the shredded plastic bags that dangle like ghosts from branches of trees on opposite side, near coffee house; doesn't require money, just a ladder. And even grander: a mural for the grey wall that's sprouting graffiti at Clarkson & Flatbush.

babs said...

Hey, Anonymous 1 I am so with you on that! The other day I was standing on the sidewalk at the corner of Lefferts and Washington waiting to cross the street when a car actually beeped at me to get out of the way so he could drive over the sidewalk via the wheelchair ramp into the gas station. When I didn't move he stuck his head out the window and shouted an expletive at me, and began driving towards me anyway. As he passed me I yelled at him, "That is NOT a driveway," to which got the expected response. I am so tired of seeing cars use those wheelchair ramps as a way to shortcut between Flatbush and Washington without waiting for any lights. Where do we start? Find out who the owner/operator of the station is and talk to him (not that I expect that will have any effect), or go to the DOT and/or Community Board?

babs said...

I have to really salute our PLG neighbors Tim Thomas and Ed Fanning for their work on CB9 - prior to their involvement Pearl Miles didn't know the boundaries of PLG. At last we're starting to get the attention (and, hopefully, the resources) we deserve!

Anonymous said...

Babs, I think the 1st thing to do is snap some shots of it happening (I see it literally EVERY time I walk by there, so it shouldn't be hard), and send them to Eric Adams and Dr. Eugene. The sidewalk is probably city property, so I think DOT might have to do the installation.

I've had that exact experience, btw - once I had a stroller with me. Not cool.

pam said...

i don't see one of those microporous green water bags on the new tree, shouldn't it have one?

babs said...

You're right on the photos, Anonymous - anytime I've observed this/had it happen to me I've been either too hurried or too shocked to react, but I will have to make it a point to hang out there one day and take pictures. Occupy Curb Cuts, anyone?

carrie said...

Planting new trees is great but it's important to remember why the last ones (planted less than 2 years ago) died: they were never watered.

If someone doesn't step up to water the trees next summer, these too will likely be casualties. Some street trees get lucky with the weather and those in shady locations doesn't get as stressed, but these trees on Parkside will need dedicated care givers next summer.