2010-04-22 / Other News

Potential Traffic At Lowe’s Is Focus Of Mill Basin Civic Meeting

By Jason Linetsky

Turnout for recent Mill Basin Civic Association meeting, at Mary Queen of Heaven, was good, said officials. Jason Linetsky Turnout for recent Mill Basin Civic Association meeting, at Mary Queen of Heaven, was good, said officials. Jason Linetsky The Mill Basin Civic Association’s April meeting focused on the opening of a Lowe’s store on the space formerly occupied by Kings Plaza’s outdoor parking lot on Avenue U and East 56th Street, as well as the need to get a noisy neighborhood business closed down.

Numerous complaints by Civic President Paul Curiale and others in the area have led to the closure of the 9JA Villa Club twice, but the location at 5023 Avenue N, keeps reopening. The complaints cite the club for loud music and parties throughout the night.

“The club is not a community minded business. Our residents have to sleep. Our residents have to get up for work in the morning,” Curiale said. “They play loud music Friday night, Saturday night, and Sunday night. The music just blasts. We have people on the block who have pages of 311 and 911 calls. We will work with [Brooklyn Community Affairs Director] Charles Glover of the Mayor’s Office to do something about this business.”

Curiale is asking anyone with complaints to call 311 and make sure to get a confirmation number so they may be tracked and resolved.

Following a request by Councilman Lew Fidler to investigate possible traffic congestion issues from the upcoming opening of a new Lowe’s Home Improvement Center in Mill Basin, the Department of Transportation sent Brooklyn Community Affairs Coordinator Claudette Workman to answer concerns of residents neighboring the business.

Ron and Judy Monico, who live on East 56th Street between Avenue T and Avenue U, believe the Lowe’s opening would make things worse.

“The cars come down East 56th Street towards Avenue U and our main concern is the cars making a left to cross over and go into Lowe’s. A traffic light will back traffic all the way up the block. We can’t get out of our driveways as it is. We have to back out.”

“The DOT did not conduct a traffic analysis because Lowe’s has a right to build whatever they want there,” Workman responded. “However, once Lowe’s is open, we will come back to analyze the traffic situation. We can go there now and look at possible barriers or traffic lights, but we won’t know about traffic backing up until it is open.”

Surprised at Workman’s response, Fidler suggested an alternative. “We were kind of hoping the DOT would be proactive,” he said. “Lowe’s has expressed willingness and cooperation, even though they are coming in as of right, to share their expectations for what their trucking needs will be and to share their expectations in terms of cars coming into their parking lot.

“We’re hoping we won’t have to live through six months of it before it’s looked at. Maybe we can come in with a plan before they open. Then come back and fix whatever the crystal ball didn’t show.”

The Mill Basin Civic Association meets at the Mary Queen of Heaven School, 1395 East 56th Street, on the second Tuesday of the month.

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