Today’s news:

City urged to clean Red Hook street

Forget about traffic, a Red Hook roadway has a problem of a different sort: trash.

Halleck Street between Court and Clinton has been transformed into a veritable dumping ground, and Community Board 6 is urging the city to either turn the messy parcel into a park, clean it up, or both.

While the tract of land is under the jurisdiction of the city’s Department of Transportation (DOT), the agency never built it as an actual street, leaving it fertile territory for the accumulation of all manner of trash. And that’s exactly what happened several years back when a contractor dumped fill material there, creating an enormous mountain of dirt that seemingly encouraged similar activity, according to Board 6 District Manager Craig Hammerman. “The DOT is unwilling to remove the dirt, claiming they are not responsible for putting it there and they don’t have the resources.”

On a recent tour around the district with city Department of Parks and Recreation officials, Hammerman said the suggestion was made that the agency take over the site and transform it into parkland.“We’ve had this as a standing budget request for years,” he noted.

Phil Abramson, a Parks spokesperson, had this to say, “It’s under DOT jurisdiction but there have not been discussions on transferring it to us and funding is not available for its environmental remediation or development as a park.” In general, in order to become a parks property, funds would need to be allocated for acquisition, remediation, and development, he added.

Contacted by this paper, the DOT promised to work with the Department of Sanitation to see that any dumping in the area is addressed. The DOT said it had no plans to transform the disheveled parcel into an operational roadway.

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