2016-07-20 / Features

TLC To Get New Woodside Facility

BY RICHARD GENTILVISO

The Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) has operated an inspection facility at 25-55 BQE West in Woodside since the 1960s with an addition for TLC enforcement and executive operations added in 1986.

Now the original two-story masonry building housing 373 TLC field enforcement and inspection officers, as well as supervisory and support staff, will undergo a major renovation with a new structure to replace the 1986 addition.

“It’s sinking into the earth,” said a representative of the city Department of Design and Construction (DDC), about structural degradation and poor soil conditions necessitating the demolition of the 1986 addition, at a presentation to Community Board 1 (CB1) in June.

The new state-of-the-art building will be elevated above the inspection lanes along with a new 65,000 sq. ft. three-level open parking structure for 150 TLC enforcement vehicles adjacent to the north side of the inspection lanes. The new building area totals 95,000 sq. ft. and will be constructed at an estimated cost of between $40 and $50 million.

The proposed expansion, with work beginning in fall 2017 and ending in winter, 2019, is as-of-right under current zoning regulations, but the board conducted a review and offered its comment on the TLC expansion before the project is reviewed by the Public Design Commission as required.

In conducting 1,180 daily inspections of prospective and current TLC-licensed vehicles, the board expressed some concern about the new facility.

“We have an environmental problem with exhaust fumes,” said Rose Marie Poveromo, a member of CB1.

“We’re not actually expanding the number of taxis coming to the site,” said a TLC representative, responding, “We’re attempting to reduce idle and waiting time to reduce exhaust fumes with vehicles filtered though an exhaust flue.”

“What about waiting cars idling?” asked Poveromo.

“We’re aware of that,” said the representative. “Our idea is to have inspections done as quickly as possible, so that the time spent at the site will be cut in half.”

A motion by the Land Use and Zoning Committee was passed with the following conditions included into the board’s letter of approval that was sent to the Commission.

•No engine idling while waiting for inspection on site and on the street;

•Installation of signage along major thoroughfares to direct taxis to the Woodside TLC facility and avoid local residential streets;

•Install scrubbers and/or charcoal filters in machinery that collects car exhaust in inspection lanes;

•Increase the hours and days of TLC inspection operation to alleviate vehicle congestion in the area during peak processing times;

•Construct similar vehicle inspection facilities in other boroughs.

When completed, the expanded Woodside TLC facility will feature two new inspection lanes and increase the on-site inspection line-up capacity to 95 standing vehicles.

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