Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Park Slope Fire Fight

Don't look now, but there's some good old-fashioned hyperlocal neighborhood conflict brewing over a firehouse in Park Slope. The disagreement comes from 11th Street, where neighbors are upset about plans to temporarily house another engine company in the firehouse that is home to Engine 220 and Ladder 122. The temporarily homeless fire company is Engine 239, whose home base on Fourth Avenue and Sixth Street is being renovated. The planned move--which will happen in about six weeks and last for 12-18 months--has drawn responses ranging from concern to outright hostility from neighbors on 11th Street. Members of the 11th Street Block Association turned out in full force to meet with representatives from the Fire Department at a recent meeting of the Park Slope Civic Council, which seemed to have been drafted into hosting the Fire Department and Block Association so they could talk through their differences. Neighborhood concerns ranged from increased parking problems as more firefighters come to work to noise and safety issues as more emergency responses come from the 11th Street firehouse.

Neither side had talked before the meeting, with residents saying they were upset that they hadn't been consulted in advance and FDNY representatives saying they were doing everything the could (short of scuttling the temporary move) to make the situation as tolerable as possible. "We're going to do everything we can to make this inconvenience as slight as possible," said the FDNY's Paul Gaughin, who is in charge of the Department's City Planning Desk. "We're investigating every option to not imposition anyone on 11th Street."

"The main issue for us is a general quality of life issue," said 11th Street Block Association President Mark Gordon. "Adding a third vehicle will signficantly impact our quality of life...We feel this is a significant issue that should have been addressed in a formal way."

Residents asked the FDNY to consider moving the Fourth Avenue fire company to a different location, to obtain additional parking for firefighters in front of a local church and to install a "pre-emptor" for traffic signals so that firefighters could turn lights red when responding to calls and use sirens less frequently.

Discussion continues.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are you people stupid? 239 responed to Park Slope if you get them out of the box area then you endanger lives of the residants of Par Slope but it doesn't matter know because there already there and I am Happy.

9:12 PM  

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