2012-09-12 / Front Page

Goldfeder To TSA: ‘Keep Your Hands Off Our Neighborhood’

Assemblymember Phil Goldfeder has called on the Department of Homeland Security’s Transportation Security Administration (DHS-TSA) to provide on-site parking for agency employees or recommend action be taken to make use of public transportation. This is in response to complaints from local community groups and residents who live adjacent to John F. Kennedy International Airport about limited parking as well as lack of consideration by TSA agents who park on community streets.

“Complaints and problems with the TSA are not confined within airport walls, but begin with their complete lack of respect for our local community,” said Goldfeder. “Residents of Southern Queens already tolerate noise and pollution caused by JFK Airport; they should not be burdened by ill-mannered TSA employees using local streets as their own private parking garage.”  

 TSA employees routinely travel to JFK Airport by driving to neighboring areas and utilizing the Airtrain to bring them the short distance into the airport, allowing them to take advantage of the free parking in Howard Beach and Ozone Park. In addition to utilizing residential and commercial parking spaces, which makes it difficult for local businesses and homeowners to park, employees often block driveways, litter the streets and sometimes change their clothes in public view. In other states, DHS provides TSA workers compensation for travel and parking expenses within airport grounds and that same formula and system should be implemented in Queens immediately, Goldfeder added.

 “Residents have written letters, compiled pictures, and videos of TSA agents demonstrating complete disregard for our neighborhood,” said Donna Gilmartin, member of Community Board 10 and president of the Locust Grove Civic Association. “We have been complaining for years and the TSA has yet to respond to our concerns. The local police precinct has better things to do than respond to TSA agents blocking our driveways.”

“Hardworking families and residents of Southern Queens should not have to deal with rude and careless TSA agents,” Goldfeder said. “It’s time for the TSA to take responsibility for their employees and work with the community to become a good neighbor.”

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