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FDNY Releases Data Indicating Traffic Volumes for Proposed 43rd Street Site, Van Bramer Not Impressed

Near the corner of 43rd/Barnett Ave.

June 18, 2014 By Christian Murray

The FDNY, which aims to purchase a site next to Lou Lodati Park to store 100 spare and decommissioned vehicles, released data last Thursday that provided a window into how much vehicular traffic would come in and out of the proposed Sunnyside site.

The data was released just days after Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer announced his opposition to the FDNY’s proposal to use 39-34 43rd Street to store the vehicles. The councilman’s opposition will ultimately see the proposed plan thwarted.

However, Van Bramer and Community Board 2 (which approved the FDNY’s plan subject to multiple conditions) were not provided with the data by the FDNY at the time they made their respective decisions.

The FDNY, using data based on its existing Brooklyn site that currently houses the spare vehicles, stated that for the first 25 days of May, a total of 740 trips were made in and out of the site. The FDNY said that a “trip” denotes how many times a vehicle crosses the building’s threshold, meaning a round trip would be counted as two vehicle trips.

The 740 trips—from May 1-May 25– were broken down as follows:

102 tow truck trips (51 in and 51 out)

30 fire apparatus trips (pumpers, ladders, squads, rescues—15 in and 15 out)

608 other trips (suburbans, pickup trucks and vans—304 in and 304 out)

The FDNY’s data, however, does not take in account the other FDNY unit the fire department wants to relocate to the site. That unit, currently in Maspeth, stores and secures wrecked and decommissioned vehicles.

Van Bramer said the number of trips just based on the Brooklyn site alone was higher than he anticipated.

“The number of trips in and out is greater than I ever thought and reaffirms that this is wrong for our community and that it belongs in an industrial area,” Van Bramer said.

Van Bramer said the total trips could be over a 1,000 a month, well over 10,000 a year. “This is a lot of vehicles going in and out of a residential street,” he said, adding that the site would be like a gas station or fast food drive-through.

He also said that the estimate is only for one of two proposed facilities. He said he was unsure as to how much traffic the other unit would generate.

“I am strongly opposed to it and will continue to urge the administration to find a different site,” Van Bramer said.

He said even with the data there are so many unanswered questions—such as what time of the day or night are the trips made. “Are they at 3am when people are sleeping or around 2:30pm when kids are getting out of school?” Van Bramer said.

Meanwhile, Joe Conley, chairman of Community Board 2, also said that the data was incomplete and that he is seeking data for all of 2012.

“We have asked for a year’s worth,” Conley said, so the board can see whether the 25 day period the FDNY used is not an anomaly. He said the board would be in a better position to reevaluate its position at that point.

The proposal is undergoing the ULURP process and is currently going before the Queens Borough president for review. A spokesman for Queens Borough President Melinda Katz said that there will hearing on the plan on Thursday, June 26, at Queens Borough Hall on the matter, and that Katz would not comment until after that.

The plan, ultimately, needs to be approved by the city council. However, Van Bramer said he will block it.

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Anthony Blackwood

Hey Jimmy how about focusing on the homeowners and merchants that don’t clean their sidewalks. The garbage thats constantly on the streets is sicking. O, and guess what was in that building before the fire dept was interested, A 24 hour shipping business. We can work with the fire dept lets see what you can do when another business wants to go in there

Oldschool Sunnysider

Leave the wrecks and junkers in Maspeth.
Leave the parking spots for residents, not for those with the precious FDNY placards.


The traffic on the street from previous businesses was NOTHING like the volume documented here. And this amount is not the full picture.

This is a terrible idea. The facility belongs in an industrial zone.


For those with an interest in letting the Borough President know what they think about this proposal, Ms. Katz will conduct a public hearing on the Fire Department proposal on June 26th at 10:30 AM, Borough President Conference Room, Second Floor, Queens Borough Hall, 120-55 Queens Blvd.


if you want change, organize & advocate. Less talk/typing, more work. It’s how things get done. Politicians pay attention when you work en masse….


When Robbins was in use, there was no car dealership next to it. It was open green space called Rabbit Island, because small wild life made its home there. It was also one of the favorite bird watching sites in western Queens.

Enough with commercialism in this neighborhood. People need peace and quiet, not industrial activity.


Make it into a garage, the hell with the people who live there. It’s not like they share those fruits with you, its what the neighborhood needs.


are people forgetting that it was once a commercial-use building? and that the car dealership access is just a little further down the street?

I recognize that there are several homes facing the street right there, but otherwise it’s just sunnyside gardens garages.


The last time I checked, May has 31 days. Why data for 25 days? Too much trouble or perhaps the data for the remaining six days provides a more complete picture of what 80 employees, including 60 uniform fire personnel, per 24 hour period, seven days a week, will be doing? CB 2 Chair Conley announced at the June 5th meeting that the FDNY committed to providing data for all of 2012 the next day. Providing information for part of one month in a year different than the commitment to the Community Board and for only one of the four units the FDNY wants to locate on 43rd Street hardly engenders the sense of trust and goodwill the FDNY wants the community to buy. Fortunately, we have Councilmember Van Bramer to look out for the neighborhood’s interest and won’t let the FDNY lead him by the nose as CB 2 let happen on June 5th.

Kristen McGowan

Once again, the street is already like a gas station because of GM and the constant drop offs. 3am noise? We already have that thanks to the work on the railroad and from kids hanging out at the park and drinking there all night. Let’s focus on changing problems we already have, everything mentioned in this article. We need speed bumps to stop all the cars from trying to make the light, that’s safe for kids going to school and the park. There were accidents 3 days in a row 2 weeks ago because of the cars flying down our residential street.


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