Two east Bronx locations near subway lines that are chronically prone to litter and dumping were cleared of discarded trash recently.
A site just outside the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s Westchester Yard along the facility’s fence on Westchester Avenue between Waters Place and Blondell Avenue, and a stretch on Esplanade in Pelham Parkway North near the #5 IRT subway station were both cleaned of large amounts of debris.
Councilman James Vacca said that he intervened at both spots to facilitate the clean up.
The councilman said that his calls to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to remedy the situation did not produce the desired result, so he turned to the Department of Sanitation District 11 office for help.
The councilman said that he believes the same standard that is applied to homeowners, which requires that they clean the sidewalk and three feet into the street from the curb should also apply to the MTA.
“If that was a homeowner in this community, that homeowner would pay a fine,” said the councilman. “I want the MTA held to the same standard that a private property owner would be held to; they should clean their sidewalks just like private property owners clean theirs.”
Vacca said that he had lost patience with the MTA when they did not promptly clean the sidewalk outside of their yard
The debris included dumped food containers, empty cardboard boxes and paint cans.
According to Vacca’s office, over 30 bags of garbage were hauled from the two-block area.
Saundra Taylor, 72, who rides her bicycle in the area almost daily, said that she was dismayed by the amount of litter that had accumulated in this two block area along Westchester Avenue through the summer.
“It is disgusting,” she said of the situation before the cleanup. “everyone just dumped stuff…things got bad very quickly.”
Over in Morris Park, Councilman Vacca said that he took the liberty of also reaching out to DSNY to clean under cars and along the curb line on Esplanade near the Morris Park station.
“This was a difficult cleanup because most of the garbage I saw was on the sidewalk, but along the curb, and there are always cars parked there,” said the councilman. “Sanitation went in with their brooms and rakes, went underneath and in between cars, and they did a great job.”
Tommy Salera, a Morris Park resident who was concerned about the stuation, called the area unkempt and said he was one of the people who brought it to the councilman’s attention.
Salera believes that most of the people who are going to and from the train station have little regard for the area’s appearance.
The concerned activist said that since so many bags of trash were removed from the street and curb, this part of Espalande could use garbage receptacles to deal with future debris.
“It was just an eyesore,” said Salera of the train station area.