City padlocks problematic MRI van

Nearly a year after an MRI truck began blasting its loud engine behind 1500 Mace Avenue, the city has agreed the van does not belong there.

In a hearing on Tuesday, September 7, a court ruled that the trailer, which has been running its diesel engine non-stop since October, must vacate the premises by September 14 or it will be towed and padlocked.

According to Councilman Jimmy Vacca, the ruling is a great victory for the neighborhood.

“This is wonderful news for the residents here on Eastchester and Mace,” Vacca said after the ruling.

The MRI truck, which is owned by Fitore Realty LLC, has been running constantly since last fall, said Ana Giardullo, whose home is next to the truck.

She said the noise is like living next to an airplane, and has been a constant burden for her family and her neighbors.

“It goes on 24-hours a day, seven-days a week. The noise is unbelievable,” she said. “We can’t enjoy anything in my house. My kids can’t go to sleep without the windows closed, even if it’s hot outside.”

After outcries from neighbors last year, city officials began looking into the problem, and the Department of Buildings did a inspection of the property in February.

A spokeswoman for the DOB said the investigation found that the MRI truck was in violation of local zoning codes.

Soon after, city officials began filing summonses against the property owners based on zoning violations. In early July a padlock order was issued.

However, hearings to enforce the padlock order were moved several times over the next two months.

Vacca said he is hopeful the court agreement will be upheld this time.

“We finally have a legal agreement, in writing, in court, that should result in this being shut down,” he said. “The residents will finally be getting some relief, one way or another.”

However, Giardullo is more skeptical. She said the situation has not changed since the truck showed up nearly a year ago, and began blasting its engine. She still does not know why the truck is there, and has not been able to speak with the owners about the van.

“I feel so upset. I feel like everyone is pulling our legs,” she said. “It’s been so long already. If they wanted to padlock it, they should have just locked it already.”

Calls made to Fitore offices in the Bronx and Yonkers were not returned.

Clients would enter Eastchester Precision Medical, at 2452 Eastchester Road, for an MRI and be directed out the rear door to the self-contained MRI trailer.

A rep with Eastchester Precision Medical said the company did own the trailer, but had no comment.

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