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Queens Chronicle

Liberty Avenue Drip Problem Not Solved Despite MTA Work

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Posted: Thursday, June 19, 2003 12:00 am

Despite attempts by the Queens Chronicle to get the problem of dripping grease in the area fixed, residents and employees near the intersection of 93rd Street and Liberty Avenue in Ozone Park say it’s still not safe to park cars under the A train tracks.

Last week, the Chronicle reported that the wooden railroad ties on the elevated tracks were dripping creosote, a brownish-black water sealant that was taking the paint off cars parked below. The Metropolitan Transit Authority dispatched workers to the scene, who put sacks underneath the tracks to catch the grease-like substance.

But the sacks quickly filled with the viscous goo, and the weekend’s hot weather and torrential downpours caused it to come pouring down in heavier quantities than before.

“It fills up into the bags, and when the train passes it all releases. Saturday was warm and lots of people complained,” said Donna Spinnato, an employee of the Liberty Animal Clinic at 92-12 Liberty Avenue.

A nearby business owner said the problem was the bags only spill once they are full, leading to a false sense of security as to whether or not it is safe to park your car under the tracks.

“It’s worse if you think it’s cured. But you have to still be alert because it’s still coming down. Maybe it’s the best job they could do but it doesn’t work,” he said.

Charles Seaton, a spokesperson for the MTA, said only that the agency would look into the problem again.

The creosote had been dripping since repairs on the elevated tracks were performed two months ago at 93rd Street and Liberty Avenue and two nearby sites, one further west on Liberty Avenue, and the other across the street and one block east.

Richard Sanchez, who lives on the block, said last week he was forced to get a new $1,000 paint job for his car after it was damaged by the fluid.

Tina Wishrad, also an employee at the animal clinic, noted that because of the problem, there are always parking spots available on the busy block now.

“It used to be you couldn’t get a parking spot around here at all, now there are plenty of spaces because we tell them to leave,” she said.

Melissa Gentile, another block resident, said her boyfriend’s clothes were ruined by the falling liquid and has seen many people, in cars and those just walking by, who have been slimed by the creosote.

She called it “a smelly, disgusting grease that drips down. You can’t get it off the cars, and it just doesn’t come out of shirts.”

People whose cars have been damaged can call the MTA claims department at 718-694-3943.

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