Calling the Pied Piper on Bensonhurst rats
In response to a rat infestation that had residents up in arms,the city and New York City Transit have stepped up efforts to quellthe problem which has plagued New Utrecht Avenue near 79th Streetfor months.
The increased attention to the problem occurred after CommunityBoard 11 demanded that the strip be cleaned, after someone livingnearby came to the board to complain about the rat infestation inher home, which she contended was likely caused by debris piling upin open columns due to ongoing MTA construction on the D lineoverhead.
After Cathy Santopietro told the board at its November meetingthat she had spotted the rodents scurrying around open columns thatsupport the elevated tracks, Marnee Elias-Pavia, district managerof Community Board 11, went out to do an inspection along with Dr.Robert Corrigan, also known as New York City’s Rat Czar.
It was 9 a.m. and a very sunny day. I kid you not, a rat ranright over my foot, around the corner and into one of the opencolumns. No exaggeration, Elias-Pavia told board members gatheredat the Holy Family Home, 84th Street and Bay 16th Street, for theirDecember meeting., adding that the columns were filled with litter,debris and standing rain water.