MTA Evaluates Safety Protocols After Fire Under East Harlem Tracks

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is looking at safety protocols for areas beneath its elevated train tracks following last week's fire that led to major disruptions on Metro-North.

Flames broke out last Tuesday at a garden center on Park Avenue near 118th Street.

The fire damaged a center column holding the tracks, which led to limited Metro-North service for two days.

At an MTA board meeting Monday, agency officials discussed the overlapping jurisdiction betwen the FDNY, NYPD, and the MTA police.

Board member Charles Moerdler says the MTA should look into suing the city over the lack of clarity about which agency is responsible for safety inspections under the elevated tracks.

"So who's doing it? Who's minding the store? We have a city of New York where everybody's out of town! That's not right. The Mayor of the city of New York has an absolute responsibility," he said. 

A City Hall spokeswoman says most spaces under train tracks are not occupied by businesses or structures.

She went on to say the city fire, buildings, and transportation departments are all looking at ways to ensure the safety of those spaces.

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