Sidewalk repairs coming to Sunset Park

A tree grows in Brooklyn, but sometimes damages it as well. On Thursday, October 21, City Councilmember Sara Gonzalez along with Brooklyn Parks Commissioner Kevin Jeffrey announced the allocation of funds that will allow repair damage to sidewalks in the neighborhoods she represents caused by tree roots. They also announced park and playground reconstructions.

The allocation for the sidewalks repairs totals $500,000.

“Government is supposed to come together to assist the community and a situation like this where a sidewalk can be dangerous to a person who doesn’t even own a home. Even a tourist, anyone could fall,” said Gonzalez during the press conference in Sunset Park, in front of a home where tree roots had raised the sidewalk. “We don’t want to destroy the environment. Our trees are important to us, but at the same time we need to make our city and streets safe.”

Jeffrey echoed the sentiments. “We love our trees but sometimes the trees don’t love our sidewalks. And if you look at the sidewalk right here I see at least a six-inch lift. It’s a trip hazard,” he explained. “My blood runs green. I can’t cut down trees. But one thing we can do is we can repair the sidewalks. And up until this point we were only able to repair a limited number of sidewalks.”

To that end, Sunset Park resident Hilda Valerio, who owns the house where the press conference was held, was presented with a coupon good for one tree repair outside her home.

“It’s a great thing, getting it fixed,” she said. “There are a lot of trees and lots of sidewalks that need to be fixed. I’ve been living in Sunset Park for 61 years.”

“It’s my honor to exit my time and be able to do this,” said Gonzalez.

Also on hand were sketches for what Sunset Park will look like once the project now underway is completed. The goal is to make everything wheelchair accessible. There are no stairs to slides or other kids play areas. Instead, ramps are included. A total of $2.4 million will be dedicated to the playground while $1.2 million will be allocated for a wading pool and spray showers.

Sunset Park has special meaning to Gonzalez, who met her husband in the area. “I love it. I used to sit there when I was a little girl,” she recalled. “I still go. Forty years later, I’m excited to part of bringing it back to what it should be.”

Gonzalez, whose allocation will allow for the creation of over 200 jobs, wants her successor, Councilmember-elect Carlos Menchaca, to continue her hard work of preserving Sunset Park and the community.

“My hope is that the following councilmember will continue to understand the need to work with the community so that this can continue and our sidewalks can be safe and the environment,” she said.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.