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Video shows a man loading barriers from the city’s “open streets” program into a delivery truck with an Amazon logo on it in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.
The footage from Monday night — posted on the Nextdoor app and republished by Streetsblog — shows a man decked out in red sweatpants, red sweatshirt and flip-flops loading the fences into the back of van emblazoned with the e-tail giant’s branding.
The man yells profanities at the person filming and hops in the driver’s seat before the clip ends.
The volunteer organizers of the “open streets” program on Russell Street and Driggs Avenue now say they are suspending their efforts with no barriers to keep the street cordoned off.
“On a beautiful spring day, when our streets could be filled w/ peace, we are suspending Driggs / Russell #openstreets because of theft – every single barrier,” the North Brooklyn Open Streets Community Coalition wrote in a statement posted on Twitter Tuesday morning.
“This is after weeks of vandalism & harassment,” the group wrote. “The @NYC_DOT is working w/ their agency partners to address the situation.”
The Driggs-Russell “open streets” have been closed to all but local cars since last May, when Mayor Bill de Blasio sought to add recreation space where people could bike, walk and play while maintaining safe social distance amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Despite proving popular in some neighborhoods, the program has attracted ire from drivers — many of whom simply plow right through the city’s erected barriers, which were initially made of wood.
Fights between drivers and “open streets” supporters in Greenpoint were not uncommon in the early days of the program, as The Post reported last summer.
Those fights have taken on a heightened intensity in the area since the launch earlier this year of an anti-“open streets” Instagram account called @greeenpoint.natives. The account is replete with images of the streets on cloudy days with pedestrians or cyclists nowhere to be seen.
An NYPD rep confirmed reports of an unknown man removing three metal barriers from the strip before driving off. No arrests have been made.
Amazon on Wednesday said the culprit was an imposter.
“The vehicle in the video is a counterfeit vehicle and we’re actively working with the NYPD as they investigate the incident,” company rep Jenna Hilzenrath said in a statement.
“Sounds like Amazon needs to remind its drivers that these barriers are here for a reason,” said City Hall spokesman Mitch Schwartz.
“Stealing safety equipment from City property is a big deal, and DOT will work with PD to conduct an investigation. Meanwhile, we’ll replace the equipment and make sure this – and every – Open Street has the resources it needs to serve its community.”
Additional reporting by Craig McCarthy
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