District 44

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District 44 - Simcha Felder
4424 16th Avenue, Brooklyn 11204
City Hall: (212) 788-7357
District: (718)853-2704/2068
Fax: (718) 853-3858

Committee Assignments:
Landmarks, Public Siting & Maritime, Chair of Land Use Subcommittee
Consumer Affairs, member
Land Use, member
Parks & Recreation, member
Youth Services, member

Traffic, Parking and Not-So-Related Issues in the 44th District

By Simcha Felder

Every weekday morning begins with a traffic jam in Boro Park and Midwood. Sanitation vehicles wending their way down residential streets and double-parked trucks making their deliveries on the avenues vie with dozens and dozens of school buses trying to deliver their charges to school. Traffic backs up for blocks, MTA bus schedules are disrupted and the honking horns create a disharmonious cacophony. This daily scenario will help explain why I am introducing legislation in the City Council to make mornings a little less stressful for my constituents.

Under the new laws, sanitation pickups and oil deliveries would be prohibited during the morning rush; this is a simple idea that will greatly speed the flow of traffic. Children must get to school and adults must get to work punctually -- there is plenty of time during the day and evening hours for the garbage to be collected.

I have also re-introduced a bill suspending alternate parking rules on Ash Wednesday and Purim. The bill, passed last year by the City Council, was vetoed by Mayor Giuliani in his last days in office. The new administration opposes it as well, reasoning that parking tickets generate needed revenues and that the calendar is already cluttered with holiday suspensions.

However, it must be pointed out that Purim is a holiday whose observance is seriously disrupted by the alternate parking rules. Purim is one of the few Jewish holidays where driving is permitted, and indeed, key to obligatory synagogue attendance and the delivery of traditional gift baskets to friends and family. My colleague, Councilmember John Liu of Flushing, chair of the transportation committee, is introducing a similar bill for the Asian Lunar New Year and has my full support. There are currently 35 council members who have signed on to my bill as co-sponsors, and I am working closely with Councilmembers Bill DeBlasio and Michael Nelson, whose neighboring districts are highly affected as well.

A crucial issue creating adverse conditions for local small businesses is a law prohibiting the displaying of goods on sidewalks in front of stores. Although this is permitted within three feet of the premises in other neighborhoods, my district, along with others in the city, has been designated "zero tolerance." This results in a bizarre situation where peddlers set up shop in front of stores, but the legitimate merchants are slapped with $50 fines for trying to sell their goods. I would like to see this law changed for the benefit of the storeowners who pay rent and taxes and employ many local people. I am gratified that with the many pressing matters on his agenda, Speaker Gifford Miller has assured me of his personal interest in all of these issues.

I intend to make it a priority that the new council understand that my district, with a large majority of Orthodox Jews, is committed to working with everyone in the city in unity and harmony. As chair of the Committee for Landmarks, Public Siting and Maritime Issues, I recently presided over its first hearing at which the Sugar Hill area of Harlem was designated a historic district. Sugar Hill was the home of many legendary African-Americans such as Duke Ellington and Willie Mays, and I commented that it was appropriate that the vote took place during the week of Martin Luther King Day. Although I was gratified by the positive feedback I received from my colleagues, I had to wonder: was it my comment that was so momentous, or the fact that it was made by a guy with a yarmulka!

My job is to serve the people of my district and the people of the city to solve the many problems facing us. We all have the same needs and priorities: safety and security, education, health care and so on. Every elected official and every community must work together to achieve these important goals, especially due to the tough challenges presented by the tragedy of September 11. In the short time I have been in office, I have seen that my colleagues in the City Council share these feelings and are ready to face those challenges with enthusiasm and dedication. Let's roll!

Community Boards for District 44
Community Board No. 11
2214 Bath Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11214
(718) 266-8800
Mr. Wm. Guarinello, Chair
Mr. Howard Feuer, District Manager
Community Board No. 12
5910 13th Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11219
(718) 851-0800
Mr. Alan J. Dubrow, Chair
Ms. Priscilla Celano, District Manager
Community Board No. 14
810 E. 16th St., Brooklyn, NY 11230
(718) 859-6357
Mr. Alvin Berk, Chair
Ms. Terry Rodie, District Manager

Ethnic Makeup and Political Registration

Ethnic Makeup

Political Registration

Public Schools

Elementary Schools

Middle Schools

High Schools

To find out what school district you live in, call the Board of Education at 718-935-2000 or link to Public School Reports

Police Precincts

Although many precincts cover areas solely within one City Council district, there are many which overlap with other districts. In most cases the overlap of precincts among districts is no more than a few blocks. Wherever there is overlap, we have made sure to alert you.

City Parks
Click thumbnail for larger image of parks in this district

Learn more about the condition of the city parks in your district at the New Yorkers for Parks (PDF file).

Community Gardens

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Find out more about community gardens from
the Council on the Environment of New York City

Historic Districts and Landmarks
Learn more about the historic districts and landmarks in this area.

The Waterfront

map listing suggestions for use and improvement of the waterfront in this district from the Metropolitan Waterfront
Alliance. (pdf format only)