Protestors in Bay Ridge are angry about their cellphones — but they’re not screaming for better service. In fact, they want less coverage!
More than 200 students, teachers, faculty and staff from PS 185 continued the battle between Bay Ridge and cellphone towers last Thursday, demanding that Verizon remove the cellular antennas it installed on an apartment building across the street from the school in December.
The demonstrators marched from the Ridge Boulevard school to a Verizon Wireless store on Fifth Avenue and 86th Street, protesting the placement of antennas that they fear emit harmful radiation.
Verizon maintains that the antennas are safe — and government agencies agree — but concerned parents aren’t buying it. They want the antennas to be removed until data conclusively proves they’re safe.
Last month, Verizon attempted to compromise with the protestors by moving the antennas to the other side of the roof — roughly 150 feet away from the school, said Verizon spokesperson David Samberg.
But demonstrators won’t be happy until the antennas are off the building — and far away.
“We don’t know if they’re safe,” said John Quaglione, a spokesman for state Sen. Marty Golden (R–Bay Ridge), who participated in the march.
“To put them in the location where they are right now. There’s just too strong of a possibility that there could be something wrong.”
Bay Ridge has been the center of a cell war for a few years, with residents rallying against towers erected in the neighborhood. In 2006, protestors thwarted the construction of a Sprint/Nextel tower near St. Anselm’s School on 83rd Street. Last year, 81st Street residents protested against cell towers installed atop an apartment building.