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Stacked up tight on community drives

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Community drive problems are rearing their ugly heads again in Canarsie.

Residents throughout the neighborhood are expressing frustration that access to the drives is impeded by people who park vehicles in the common driveways, making it difficult for anyone who has a garage opening on the drive to get in and out.

In particular, the community drive behind the homes on East 86th Street, between Foster Avenue and Farragut Road, has been plagued by the problem.

“There’s been a car parked in the community drive for a month or more,” complained one resident during the September meeting of the Friends United Block Association (FUBA), which was held at Temple Shaare Emeth, 6012 Farragut Road.

“A couple of weeks ago,” the man continued, “there were two cars parked side by side so no one could get through. Somebody’s going to get hurt somewhere down the road. It’s building up to that. In an emergency, fire engines and ambulances can’t get through.”

The same problem is occurring behind East 81st Street, between Glenwood and Farragut Roads, remarked another attendee at the meeting.

“We’ve had the same problem for a long time,” the resident stressed. “I talked to them, very nicely, and the vehicle is now parked right at the edge of the community drive. You can hardly get by. I would never do that.”

“The community drives aren’t for parking, but to get through,” a third resident stressed.

“A lot of times, it’s not the owner of the house, it’s the tenant who lives in the basement who does that,” remarked Gardy Brazela, FUBA’s president. “You care because it’s your property, your investment, but there are people who don’t care.”

However, Brazela stressed, the solution lies in communication. Because the community drives are private property (and not city thoroughfares), the police cannot go in and ticket vehicles that are impeding access.

But, he added, the precinct can send someone to talk with the individuals who are causing the problem. This has occurred in the past, said Brazela, with some success.

“The best thing,” he stressed, “is to talk it over.”

There are other issues with community drives, added Assemblymember Alan Maisel. “Of problems involving houses, community driveways are the biggest problem,” he opined.

For one thing, Maisel said, “When homes were built, 50 years ago, no one was thinking 50 years into the future, so no one asked the question, ‘What happens when the concrete has to be redone? Who does that?’

“It’s private property so the people who live in the adjacent houses are responsible,” Maisel went on, noting that, often, people can’t come to an agreement to share the cost equitably, so work that is necessary does not get done.

“It’s a terrible, terrible problem,” Maisel concluded. “The best thing is to try to work with your neighbors, if they cooperate. If not, I don’t know what you do.”

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