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Van Bramer to Block FDNY’s Plan to Keep Spare Trucks by Sunnyside Park

June 10, 2014 By Christian Murray

Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer has come out in opposition to the FDNY’s plan to house 100 fire trucks on a site next to Lou Lodati Park.

The councilman’s position essentially means that the FDNY’s plan to use the 39-34 43rd Street site to keep a fleet of trucks has been thwarted.

The plan, which is currently being reviewed by the Queens Borough President’s office, ultimately needs the approval of the City Council to go into effect. With Van Bramer, the majority leader, in opposition to it, the FDNY’s plans for the site are essentially over.

The FDNY wants the site so it can keep a reserve fleet of trucks on hand in case any of its vehicles throughout the city break down or get into an accident.

The FDNY currently houses its reserve fleet in a flood zone in Brooklyn, so it wants to move it to Sunnyside. The FDNY also wants to bring its decommissioned and wrecked vehicles from its current Maspeth location to Sunnyside too.

“I obviously appreciate the work of the FDNY and the bravery of the members of FDNY,” Van Bramer said. However, “I have serious concerns about these large trucks rumbling in and out a residential neighborhood—adjoining a park where literally thousands of children, pets, and seniors cross the street to go to. It seems to be a potential hazard and I have heard from a number of people who are opposed to it.”

Van Bramer said that there are more appropriate locations, in less residential areas. “A facility like this is best suited for industrial zone and not across the street from a residential community,” Van Bramer said.

Van Bramer said that he was concerned that wrecked vehicles would come rumbling in and out of the neighborhood, across the street from people’s living rooms and bedrooms.

Van Bramer said that he was still waiting on outstanding FDNY information–such as the number of trucks that would go in and out of the location—but that would not change his viewpoint in any case.

“I don’t think there is a scenario where I would change my opinion,” he said.

Van Bramer said he saw the stipulations that the FDNY agreed to with Community Board 2 last Thursday but believed they weren’t enough. Those stipulations included assurances that the FDNY that it would not use its emergency lights and would only travel to the site via Northern Boulevard.

“I urge the administration to look at alternative sites that can be viable,” Van Bramer said.

The plan is currently going before the Queens Borough President’s office.

However, it will ultimately wind its way through to the city council for a vote, where “it is highly unusual for the council not support the local member in the process,” Van Bramer said.


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Anthony Blackwood

and what exactly would Mr Van Bramer want in this facility? maybe a business that is void of cars & trucks. Does he know what was there before it became vacant? A 24 hour shipping company..yea..anyhow Jimmy’s time would be better spent going after the residents and businesses that don’t bother cleaning their sidewalks and getting the sanitation dept to provide more garbage bins on the corners. Be careful what you wish for residents god only knows what private firm that will go into the facility

Mike Novak

How about taking two of the TEN COPS on “streetwalker” duty on Greenpoint Ave and placing them in plainclothes in the park to arrest those who pee in the park and write tickets to the a$$hole dog owners who let their mutts crap all over the kids playground?


I applaud JVB and his opposition to this. As said many times, this is a commercial/industrial zone enterprise they are looking to house in a residential neighborhood…. common sense says it’s not right.
As to what may be housed there at some point in the future, we will have to cross that bridge then as plans become apparent. No use speculating about something that may or may not happen. As someone said, it’s been vacant for a long time so who knows if/when another tenant would be interested.

As to the kids drinking/peeing in the park, that too is an issue and goes back to long before the park overhaul. Not sure what the best answer is there, esp. if calls to JVB and 311 haven’t helped. Maybe something to bring up to CB2, that seems like something they could do to actually help Sunnyside residents rather than their own self interest.

Perhaps some kind of community policing group could be in order?

Debbie Kroski

If we are concerned about the children, why not put speed bumps on 43rd St where there is a school. Let’s stop the speeders trying to beat the lights on Skillman and 43rd Avenue

Mike Novak

“The FDNY also wants to bring its decommissioned and wrecked vehicles from its current Maspeth location to Sunnyside too.”



I think Steven B. said it best… it’s ridiculous to think that whoever else takes up the property will respect your precious parking spots. The reality of it is that parking is problematic across the city. In some parts of brooklyn the only option is for cars to double park directly next to the opposite side of the street on days where there’s alternate side parking… it’s been that way for years there and we’ve never had it that bad in sunnyside. i grew up in sunnyside and have watched it change as much as all the other lifers have, but i recognize that things evolve and that nothing stays the same.

Andy Clay

If it smells like fish, it’s a dish. If it smells like cologne, leave it alone!


that joint been empty for years. no one is rushing to move in there. its been empty this long for a reason.

u think they would really follow all those rules? dont be silly. you must still be wet behind the ears. shortcuts thru our streets all day. if you think beer drinking folks in the hand ball court iz bad, wait til you got beeping trucks, exhaust, horn blasts, etc. every nite. then there iz the smell of th exhaust.

jvb did right by us

Kristen mcgowan

@no to firetrux yes I am aware it’s called the Woodside library. My neighbors and I have called 311 and van bramers office numerous times. And just as Steven B said, who knows what other company will come in, take more parking and then everyone will have so much more to say. The GM factory already brings so many cars zooming in and out. How about speed bumps?!

Steven B

i am a big JVB supporter but I feel he missed the boat on this. The stipulations that the FDNY agreed to would aleveate the trumped up concerns about children and traffic safety. Ingress from Northern Blvd only would solve the concern, what are the annual statistics for pedestrian accidents on the streets surrounding the park? Asking for exhaust fume scrubbers and filters would clean the air at least equal to the surrounding environment. No off site parking would prevent loss of parking spaces.
If a private entity buys the space, they can have emploees park on the streets, come and go from any direction with their vehicles and not be required to mitigate fumes.

no to firetrux

there is another library, it’s on 43rd ave, near roosevelt.

call 311 every day on the issues in the handball court. organize your neighbors, all calling 311, when people are partying/pissing in the handball courts. squeaky wheel gets the grease. change requires work.

Dov pincus

@Kristen. .couldn’t agree with you more….what a waste of time….would a low income housing project be more acceptable in our culturally diverse and tolerant neighborhood?


Nice work Jimmy Van Bramer, it’s clear that you listen and care. What a rarity these days! Sunnyside is lucky to have you.

Mike Kenny

A big “Thank You” to Jimmy Van Bramer. Jimmy gets its!! He clearly understands community and the community he serves. The community Board members who voted for this don’t get it. They were clearly asleep at the wheel. I attended the community board 2 meeting and observed the vote.
It was like voting guilty at a trial without hearing all the evidence. It made me very uncomfortable to see how the board operates. The FDNY gentleman was allowed to speak for about an hour. I was allowed to speak for 3 minutes. Then Mr. Conley appeared to suggest a Yes Vote with very little further discussion, a bit like a summary execution. It was shoot first, ask questions later type of voting.

Kristen mcgowan

As many have expressed the safety of children, how about the people tht urinate and hang out outside the handball courts? I live directly across the street and am more bothered for my son to see that than a firetruck. Let’s also address the library being closed for the ENTIRE summer! How does that benefit our kids?! People need to address real issues, not firetrucks being stored in a lot.


Hallelujiah! anyone who thinks this was a good idea to begin with is either on the take or needs to get their head examined. Thank God greater minds prevailed. Big up to you Jimmy aka “our local Super Hero” xoxo

Flores 65

Now this is a politician who really cares and listens. Why can’t the rest of Community Board 2 be like Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer?

Dorothy Morehead

Thank you, Jimmy. The safety of the residents, especially the children, must take priority over the convenience of the FDNY.


Thank you Mr. Van Bramer. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

And NO THANKS to Mr. Conley. To him I say, “Boooooo!”


Good news, let’s hope the FDNY goes back to the drawing board and does not try to advance the 43rd Street proposal any further. This episode shined a light on what’s been known but unspoken for a while: Community Board 2 needs a total overhaul. Thanks to the incumbents for your years of service but the hubris monster has overwhelmed common sense and puts the bests interests of our communities at risk.

Hoof Hearted

If it’s the council that ultimately decides these matters, what’s the point of the community board? Seems like just another redundant layer of bureaucracy.


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