2015-01-22 / Other News

Bergen Beach Residents May Take To The Streets

By Tess McRae

Members of the Bergen Beach Civic Association (BBCA) were livid on Tuesday as the group discussed the growing controversy of the New Dawn Transit bus depot.

The company, which can operate 200 school buses at a time, often allows drivers to idle for as long as 30 minutes, according to some residents.

“It’s ridiculous,” one resident stated, “You have them starting at 20 past five in the morning,” one resident said. “It starts early and it can take forever for the last bus to get out.”

The relationship between the community and New Dawn is nothing new, but at the January civic meeting, residents decided they have had enough.

“If protestors can lay in front of the West Side Highway because some guy got shot, then we can lay out in front of those buses and make sure they don’t go nowhere,” Dominick Fasulo said. “These agencies aren’t going to do anything, so we need to get involved.”

According to Brooklyn Democratic Leader Frank Seddio, the Department of Environmental Conservation and the Department of Environmental Protection — state and city operated agencies respectively — are investigating potential violations allegedly being committed by New Dawn. Seddio said the agencies have been visiting since September and, in the near future, they will issue a report on the violations found at the bus depot.

“There are certain rules that they need to fall within,” he said. “For example, the bus needs to be idling for at least three minutes before it is a violation.”

Seddio alluded to the possibility of the landowner putting a residential building on the site. However, the area would have to be rezoned from manufacturing to residential – something residents seemed to be much more comfortable with. Rezoning is still a long way off, so civic members are focusing on getting New Dawn to acknowledge the nuisance they have become to neighbors.

No date has been set for a “diein” or other peaceful protest, but Seddio and other BBCA members said they’d like to get started as soon as possible.

“I’m willing to do it if we have enough people participating,” Seddio said. “We need at least 20 or 25 people to make this work. We can park cars at all the corners and you may be hit with $100 ticket, but if you think it’s worth it, I’m with you.”

“I have no problem with that, it’s worth it,” Fasulo said.

The BBCA will not announce when they will protest, as they want to surprise New Dawn, ensuring their message will come across.

See “All They Need Is The Air That They Breathe” on page 9 for more details on the ongoing bus controversy.

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