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Trailer trash: Abandoned big rig left to rust on Flatbush Avenue

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Call it a game of pass-the-truck.

Someone apparently abandoned a tractor-trailer on a section of Flatbush Avenue near the Brooklyn Botanic Garden months ago — and no department in the city is taking responsibility for cleaning it up.

“I have seen this tractor-trailer abandoned since at least November,” said Olgierd Bilanow, a Ditmas Park resident who passes the big rig frequently while walking through Prospect Park.

Bilanow called 311 several times, only to be directed to the Department of Sanitation, which is in charge of removing vehicles without license plates. But even after those calls, the truck, which has Tennessee plates but no company markings, remains — with a thick layer of dirt around it unreachable by street sweepers.

This reporter called the Department of Sanitation about the truck, only to be told by a spokeswoman that because the trailer is in Prospect Park, it falls under the jurisdiction of the Department of Parks and Recreation.

This reporter then called the Department of Parks and Recreation, where a spokeswoman said that because the vehicle is parked on Flatbush Avenue it is under the jurisdiction of the Department of Transportation.

This reporter then called the Department of Transportation, only to be told by a spokeswoman to contact the police department.

An NYPD spokesman directed this reporter to contact the precinct closest to the vehicle.

A spokesman for the 71st Precinct said that the truck doesn’t sit in his coverage area, and repeated calls to the 78th Precinct’s community affairs office were not answered.

A trucking industry expert told this newspaper it is not unusual for struggling independent truckers who aren’t part of larger fleets to abandon aging tractors — especially if the truck is in need of costly repairs — because properly disposing of such vehicles can be expensive.

The audacity of someone abandoning a truck in the most famous of Brooklyn’s parks and on the best-known of borough roadways, however, is a bit much for Bilanow to take.

“In and of itself, it’s just a magnet for graffiti. And in theory, terrorism-wise, if you can abandon a tractor-trailer in New York City, what else can you do?” the concerned citizen said.

But the real problem is more simple than that.

“It’s just the idea that you can dump a tractor-trailer and nobody cares,” Bilanow said.

Reach reporter Jaime Lutz at jlutz@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-8310. Follow her on Twitter @jaime_lutz.

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Reader Feedback

peppertree5706 from Sheepshead Bay says:
Bureaucratic nonsense. Flatbush Avenue is a city street regardless of what is on the side of the street. It is not different than any other city street.

In all the years this street has had traffic, over one hundred years now, this has not been the first vehicle to be abandoned on Flatbush between Prospect Park and the Botanic Gardens.

These city employees make good money and can figure out what to do if a large vehicle is abandoned on Flatbush Avenue.
April 13, 2013, 7:21 pm
JT from Harlem, formerly Park Slope says:
This is really bad.

But let's not bring "terrorism" into this. It's just silly and unrealistic. Sure, terrorism in an abandoned vehicle is possible. It's possible in many many things.
April 18, 2013, 6:32 am

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