Councilman takes on ConEd over street closures

Street closures for utility work can be frustrating, especially when it seems nothing is happening.

Wednesday Councilman Brooklyn Kalman Yeger got fed up with ConEd blocking a street in his district and tossed their barricades aside. Then he got into it with ConEd on Twitter.

The intersection of 44th street and 15th Avenue in Borough Park is already pretty busy, according to neighbors.

So when ConEdison made matters worse Wednesday morning by blocking off 44th street, Yeger was frustrated.

“I walked up the block saw no ConEd truck, no ConEd workers,“ he said. “The cones said ConEdison on them, but I could not find a single worker, could not figure out why the cones were there, and so I removed the cones.”

Yeger then tweeted pictures of what he had done at ConEd asking for answers. The utility responded by saying it had proper road work permits. Yeger fired back.

“They should take a moment to read those permits, every one of those permits require that the blocks not be closed to traffic,” he said.

Sure enough, PIX 11 search the permit map and checked the paperwork only to find the Councilman is correct. ConEd was supposed to maintain an 11 foot lane of traffic.

“This is a citywide issue,” Yeger said. “There is no right to shut down the street just because work is happening. Utilities have to take great measures to make sure they do their work while leaving traffic open... they can’t shut the city down.”

A spokesman for ConEd said despite the utility’s own tweets about permits— there was emergency work happening because of a smoking manhole. That work does not appear in the DOT roadwork permit map.

ConEd said what Councilman Yeger did was unsafe. In response, Yeger said ConEd is now just flatly lying about what happened.

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