Sanitation Dep’t Asked to Change Morning Pick-Up Schedule

Brooklyn -
Councilman David G. Greenfield and NYC Sanitation Department Commissioner John Doherty (R) at a recent meeting to discuss ways to revise the city’s trash collection schedule to reduce rush-hour traffic congestion in Boro Park.
Councilman David G. Greenfield and NYC Sanitation Department Commissioner John Doherty (R) at a recent meeting to discuss ways to revise the city’s trash collection schedule to reduce rush-hour traffic congestion in Boro Park.

These days, the problem is that there are many more cars than usual on the streets of Boro Park because parents are driving their children to school. But when the regular contingent of school buses is there, along with garbage trucks, a full load of rush-hour cars, city buses, and trucks — the result is chaos.

In response to numerous complaints from local residents about constant traffic tie-ups throughout Boro Park each morning, Councilman David G. Greenfield (D-NY) has asked New York City Department of Sanitation Commissioner John Doherty to revise the collection schedule used by the local DSNY garage to avoid having garbage trucks on the streets at the same time as yellow school buses.

Greenfield has worked to resolve this issue since he was elected. Sanitation has accommodated the neighborhood with some evening pickups. However, the problem has recently been exacerbated because of the heavier load of cars.

That prompted Greenfield to write to Commissioner Doherty earlier this month with a request that additional steps be taken to keep neighborhood streets clear of garbage trucks during the morning rush, especially from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m.

Residents are often delayed without warning while on their way to work or school, and buses often have to detour from their designated route to avoid getting stuck behind sanitation collection trucks.

“Anyone who drives through Boro Park in the morning knows the sinking feeling that comes with getting stuck in the middle of a block for ten minutes because it is clogged with private school buses and sanitation trucks.

“While I am grateful for the important service these workers provide to the community, there must be a better way to accommodate everyone who uses our congested streets during rush hour.

“That’s why I reached out to Commissioner Doherty on this issue, and I look forward to working with him on a long-term solution,” said Councilman Greenfield.

Boro Park is the only city neighborhood with more than 100,000 residents to see growth in the last census count, and was Brooklyn’s top community district in terms of percentage growth of the youth population over the past decade.

This population increase could mean even more issues in coming years with school buses and garbage trucks sharing neighborhood streets.

In 2006, the Department of Sanitation undertook an extensive effort to reduce incidents of school buses and collection trucks on a block at the same time. Following a pilot program, the department instituted a formal plan to reduce the number of trucks on certain Boro Park streets between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. However, that plan does not seem to have made a significant difference in terms of overall traffic congestion.

“One of my top priorities since taking office has been to increase traffic flow and safety for everyone who uses neighborhood streets.

“This is a complex issue that will require more creative solutions and cooperation from everyone, and I am confident that Commissioner Doherty and our local sanitation depot will help us reach a permanent solution that works for residents and the sanitation department,” Councilman Greenfield concluded.