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2018-01-11 / Other News

Maisel Shares Vision For His Final Term At Civic Meeting

By Keciah Bailey

Councilman Alan Maisel speaks to residents about what he hopes to accomplish during his last term in office. Residents rang in the first United Canarsie South Civic Association (UCSCA) meeting of the year with Councilman Alan Maisel, sharing some of his goals for his final term in office.

The councilman informed residents that January 1st began his second - and final - term in office because of term limits but assured residents he is committed to seeing some of his most important legislations enacted over the next four years.

“When I got elected 12 years ago to the assembly, I realized I was not going to change the world. There was no way that I could do that,” Maisel said, addressing the attendees. “But what I did want to do was make an impact on the small things that are big things for people in my district – the things that nobody else was worried about - the quality of life issues.”

Maisel said usually in areas where crime is not a big issue, then the quality of life concerns, such as cars parked without license plates, big rigs that block parking and ponding, etc. become the issues “that really irk people” and those are the issues he has been working to resolve.

“But even the small things aren’t necessarily easy things to get done,” Maisel said.

He said one of the issues that has been a problem in this community for about 100 years is unmapped streets. Unmapped streets are private streets that are owned and managed by residents - an advantage for issues such as street parking but if a sewer breaks or the road needs to be paved, the residents must foot the bill.

“We have about 15 to 20 unmapped streets, which has always been a big sore point for me,” Maisel explained. “The streets that are not mapped, the city is not responsible for them and so they don’t provide services. For example, there is a big ponding problem on Church Lane at East 87th and East 88th Streets - it’s a lake.”

Maisel shared a story that last year he took a fish and placed it in the ponded area and sent the photo to the Department of Transportation (DOT) commissioner to show her just how badly the street needed to be fixed. The photo and story was run in the June 22, 2017 issue of the Canarsie Courier (see “Councilman Makes A ‘Catch’ On Church Lane”).

Maisel said, in response, he passed a law that stipulates that the DOT must do an investigation of all unmapped streets - not just in Canarsie but all over New York City - and formulate a plan to take these streets over by July 2018. The councilman said he will continue to follow up to ensure this work is done.

“I have spoken to residents who are burdened. Some are not even aware they are responsible for maintaining these streets,” Maisel said. “There’s no reason why we should have these unmapped streets. They are used by the public.”

He also pointed out that ponding continues to be a huge issue in Canarsie, Mill Basin and Bergen Beach and is another quality of life issue that vexes people.

“In some areas, the sidewalk is sinking, the street is sinking and then it accumulates water and it is almost impossible to get the city to do anything about it,” Maisel said.

Other issues Maisel said he is working on are the unused utility poles left by the utility companies once newer ones are put in place. Not only is this an eyesore, he said, but it becomes a safety issue as there are poles that are leaning.

“There’s one on Flatbush Avenue that is almost at a 45-degree angle. A hurricane or a very strong wind can take down the poles and all the wires with it,” Maisel said.

The councilman said to help combat this issue, he passed a law that requires the utility companies to remove the poles once they are aware of them or they will receive a $250 fine.

Hidden speed bumps are another issue of concern. Maisel said most of the speed bumps in the district are not visible at night as the white paint on most of them has worn away. This presents a safety hazard to drivers late at night who may be speeding - or worse, drunk driving - and are not able to see the bumps ahead.

“I have a law that I think will pass and that is to have these speed bumps painted with reflective yellow paint so it is more visible. The city will probably moan and groan that it will cost money, but ultimately, it is worth it.”

The next UCSCA meeting will be held on Tuesday, February 13th at 7:30 p.m. at the Hebrew Educational Society, 9502 Seaview Avenue. All residents are encouraged to attend.

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