18-wheelers told to move rigs away from LL field

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After four-years of what league officials say were dangerous conditions caused by a proliferation of trucks parked around the Astor Little League field, the problem is subsiding thanks to help from Senator Jeff Klein.

Large 18-wheeler trucks have been forgoing truck stops, exiting Interstate 95, and parking around the perimeter of the Astor Little League’s field on Bartow Avenue, before quick action by a number of agencies at Klein’s insistence all but eliminated the problem.

The trucks often parked for weeks on end despite signs that forbid parking for trucks. In addition, directly next to the little league field, the MTA has their largest bus depot.

MTA busses often use Bruner and Ely avenues adjacent to the field to access the depot, causing further congestion and hazardous conditions.

Parents even missed games because they couldn’t find parking near the field.

“Nothing is more important than supporting our young people by keeping them safe and engaged,” Klein said.  “Little league is a full commitment, and parents need to be able to park and be there for their children.  I’m happy to say that after four inconvenient years we’ve been able to work with the trucking companies and the precinct, toward real improvement.”

Senator Klein reached out to the 47th Precinct, which patrols the area, and the streets surrounding the field are now frequently monitored by the command, which issues tickets to offending trucks.

Recently, league officials have spotted only one truck parked in the area; a major improvement.

“Senator Klein really stepped in and did everything within his power to clean up the truck situation,” said Astor Little League vice-president Frank Sapienza. “I have been going down to the field, taking pictures of the offending trucks, and e-mailing them to Senator Klein. He the spoke with the truck companies.”

Klein has called the owners of many trucking companies, to establish relationships with the firms that have been parking at the site. The trucking companies seen parked around the field includes APX, Wellington Logistics, and Landstar Ranger.

In addition, Klein reached out to DOT and the MTA to solve the problem.

Sapienza said the trucks, which were sometimes double- and even triple-parked, were especially hazardous to those developmentally disabled children who participate in the league’s Challenger program, and that the area also became a haven for people dumping household items like old mattresses.

“Senator Klein and his office have involved us at every step of the way,” Sapienza noted. “They totally took the bull by the horns; no one has ever taken this kind of approach to this problem before.”

Updated 5:29 pm, October 21, 2011
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