Construction companies introduce color-coded hard hats to help ID cat-callers

PROSPECT HEIGHTS, Brooklyn (WABC) -- With construction booming in Brooklyn, a colorful solution has been created to help deal with complaints ranging from loud noises to cat calls.

Area residents say it's about overall quality of life and accountability, and while they believe the new system is a step in the right direction, they insist more needs to be done to improve relationships.

"They're rude," Lissette Burgos said. "Rude because they don't let you get by, and they want to use a little foul language. And you try to ignore, and sometimes you argue back and forth with them."

Street closures, cranes, and hard hats have taken over Prospect Heights, with several new developments on the rise. But the construction boom has also come with some unforeseen headaches for people who live and work nearby.

"I also feel like a lot of women just don't want to speak about it," Sophia Rudensky said. "Because they're ashamed of the experience."

From excessive cat calling to noise and parking issues, several complaints have been made to developers in recent months, prompting them to roll out a new color-coded hard hat and ID system intended to make it easier for people to identify construction workers who may be out of compliance.

"It's consistent for me," said Wayne Bailey, president of the 78th Precinct Community Council. "I get the same complaints over and over again...the quality of life, it's parking on the sidewalks, it's the bottles of urination, it's the congestion, it's the noise, it's the impacts, and the problem is they just keep piling on and piling on."

Most believe it is only a handful of construction workers who take things too far, but they appreciate the new system, with signs posted at nearly every construction site. They're also hopeful developers will continue to address their ongoing concerns.

"We are committed to creating a safe, accountable work site at Pacific Park and expect this ID system will bring an even greater level of transparency and accountability to the various components of our project," Forest City Ratner Companies Senior Vice President of External Affairs Ashley Cotton said.
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