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Commish rebuffs planter plea

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Hey, commish - with all due respect, Oriental Boulevard is not MGuinness Boulevard.

That’s how Community Board 15 Chair Theresa Scavo is reacting to the community’s latest failed attempts to convince city officials that the traffic medians diving Oriental Boulevard are no place for giant concrete planters.

Forget that Borough President Marty Markowitz and City Councilmember Mike Nelson have allocated almost a million bucks to install the planters and beautify Oriental Boulevard - motorists here say they are nothing more than traffic hazards blocking motorists’ vision, and they want them gone.

Over the last few years, critics have tried everything they can think of to get rid of them - even donating them to Kingsborough Community College.

Scavo’s latest attempts were directly aimed at Julius Spiegel, the Parks Department’s Brooklyn Borough Commissioner.

But instead of agreeing with Scavo, the Community Board 15 chair says that she was told that there are “no problems” with similar structures lining McGuiness Boulevard in Greenpoint.

About 13 miles separates Mguiness and Oriental boulevards.

“There is no similarity to Oriental Boulevard,” an exasperated Scavo told members of the Manhattan Beach Neighborhood Association last week.

Efforts to improve Oriental Boulevard have a long history of backfiring on planners. From the narrowing or “neck down” of the thoroughfare, to the blinking traffic signal at Ocean Avenue, those so-called improvements, along with the concrete planters, have met with nothing bout derision and impassioned campaigns to have them either scrapped or changed.

So far, city officials have been reluctant to take action. Critics, nevertheless, continue to work to have their issues resolved.

-- Joe Maniscalco

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