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With Big Crowds, Trash and Noise Plague LIC’s Waterfront Parks

Overflowing trash cans are now commonplace at Gantry Plaza State Park and Hunters Point South Park (Facebook)

June 18, 2020 By Michael Dorgan

An unprecedented number of people are using the waterfront parks in Hunters Point and they are generating lots of trash and making plenty of noise.

The good weather and the relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions has seen people flock to Gantry Plaza State Park and Hunters Point South Park this month.

More people have also opted to eat and drink at the park due to the continued ban on indoor dining. These factors – coupled with an influx of food trucks and vendors lining up along Center Boulevard – have produced high levels of trash, according to the Hunters Point Parks Conservancy (HPPC).

“People can’t go anywhere else and cannot eat at restaurants,” said Rob Basch, president of the HPPC. He said that there aren’t enough trash cans for people to properly dispose of their trash.

People are placing their rubbish next to overflowing bins causing the trash to pile up, he said.

“The rubbish then gets blown across the parks by strong winds and often ends up in the East River,” he said.

Basch said the situation is also drawing rats to the area and is very unhygienic.

The volunteer group, which helps out with park maintenance and organizes various park programs, has called on the public to play its part in keeping the parks clean.

“We have launched a ‘leave no trace’ campaign which appeals to visitors who bring food and disposables to the park, to take them home and dispose of them if bins are full,” he said.

NYC Parks is responsible for waste disposal at Hunters Point South Park while New York State Parks takes care of the garbage for Gantry Plaza State Park. Their budgets have been cut and they cannot keep up with collection needs at the parks, according to Basch.

Basch said that the set-up is not ideal and he would like to see the Department of Sanitation oversee waste disposal for both parks in the long term.

There is also a significant lack of bins at both parks which has exacerbated the problem, Basch said.

HPPC has just spent $24,000 on purchasing four “Bigbelly” garbage cans to address the problem.

The smart, solar-powered waste and recycling cans compact the waste and communicate volume status to collection crews. However, the units are not expected to arrive for another four to six weeks.

Crowds at Hunters Point South Park last weekend (Michael Dorgan, Queens Post )

Basch said that the two parks never close and some crowds stay late into the night and generate even more trash.

The nighttime visitors also contribute to high levels of noise pollution and some have been known to set off fireworks, he said.

People driving cars with loud mufflers and high revving motorcyclists have also drawn ire from local residents living in the mostly residential, built-up area.

Drivers of three-wheeled motor vehicles, which play loud music, have also contributed to increased noise pollution in the area, according to Basch.

Basch said that there have also been numerous complaints about drag car racing in the area at nighttime.

“They are causing general mayhem and are reckless,” he said.

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60 Comments

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Diphas

With the community shelter nearing completion at HPS, this will only get worse. LIC will be the homeless camp this year. And there are drugs and guns everywhere. Food carts are openly selling joints. Parks admin’s budget has been slashed again from the measly 17k a year to 11k.

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Anonymous

The 108th will fix it, as soon as they end their 60-year long doughnut break.

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JaimeB

Which food carts are selling drugs? That would be something the police would take action on, one would think.

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Anonymous

He’s been busy working to get the cops cars off the sidewalk. Give him a break.

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DJBrandywine

they can’t go nowhere else you say yeah they can they can go in there own damn neighborhoods why they all got to come to our neighborhood and mess it up ask people who live here in hunters point South are sick and tired and we’re all so sick and tired of the 108th precinct who sit on their ass doing nothing
Allowing thugs to come here from other places messing up our neighborhood blowing up fireworks every night doing drugs in the park threatening people with violence and all of this stuff don’t give me that bull crap they can’t go nowhere else because they don’t even live in this neighborhood all these people you seen the park in the daytime and in the night don’t live here why should we have to put up with this crap.

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Blacks4Trump

Question: What happens when your blue state government is no longer willing or even able to guarantee your safety? An unarmed population that has alienated the police in Commieville… Where have we seen this movie before?

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La Bamba!

The citizens have their head in you know what when the police is being vilified. But when there is a need for police over some petty stuff the police is suddenly blamed for not doing their job. You can’t have it both ways. No one wants to join police anymore after the recent events and the police not seeing any respect for them are not eager to go and help the ones who hate on them. Imagine if your supervisor at work has been always negative at you for all the mistakes few of your colleagues made and then when the supervisor needs your help right away how enthusiastic would you be to speedily help?

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Anonymous

How about they patrol the neighborhood and write up summonses for trash and noise offenses and just stop beating up, pepper spraying and killing innocent people? Can we start with that?

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La Bamba!

And then what? Didn’t we see this already with turnstile jumping violations? Or Churros lady selling potentially contaminated food? Based on that experience the police will be blamed for not attending to more serious crimes and giving summonses to those who cannot afford to pay them. Anonymous, you live in a Lala Land. You think that world only works to benefit you, without realizing that’s not how the world works. You want Police to do their job? — stop politicizing every terrible event and let them do their job. Tens of thousands of NYPD policemen/policewomen didn’t kill innocent people. Only few did (less than 1%). Or are you again going to use a double standard against the police whenever it suits you?

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Diphas

NYPD is not policing petty crimes anymore. They suggested that I contact NYC parks.

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Anonymous

It’s not just a couple of people dropping a gum wrapper on the sidewalk and shooting a bottle rocket. It’s a growing public health and safety menace that can easily get out of control. Typical lazy ass response from the 108th Precinct.

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John Mbaye

I moved here in 2013 and up until this Feb, the parks were very clean and crowds were manageable. But now they have turned into drug dens and outdoor brothels (check the Citizen app history for the last few weeks). Drag racers, fireworks, weapons exchanges, drug parties. The anable basin is the hot spot for car sex and drugs. The so-called luxury buildings are emptying fast. Don’t believe me? Just go to Center Blvd in the evening and count how many dark apartments you can see. Or check LeaseBreak for the listings.

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Frank

And again the people are shooting off fireworks in the park. Where is the 108th? They should come down for some stick time.

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La Bamba!

What if it escalades, putting their careers on the line? What if they have to release the perpetrators as soon as they arrest them?, who will in turn go back to doing what he/she’s been doing the same thing. People wanted less police — they got it.

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Anonymous

People want police keep the neighborhood safe and orderly. They don’t want them strutting around like Gestapo beating and killing people for exercising their rights. Get it?

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La Bamba!

No, I don’t get it. I personally never seen police beating or worse killing anyone. Yes, I’ve seen videos and pictures but I’m not going to make a judgement about a particular group based on the actions of the few. Otherwise it fits in the same old discrimination criteria. Get it?

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Anonymous

I live on Center Blvd and have two dogs. Every single morning when I take them out for a walk in the park I constantly have to tip toe with them around over turned pizza pies, open boxes of half eaten cake, chicken bones, broken glass and fire work debris. I have lived here for three years and have never seen anything like this, it is so disrespectful and the community who lives here is not at fault, this has to be communicated to those who visit the park. People need to start getting fined for littering. As I’m typing this fireworks are going off yet again at Gantry and of course my dogs are panicking, and I’m sure when I take them out in the morning I will see the firework debris leftover. It is mind boggling how people can be so disrespectful, especially with the countless high rise residential buildings that are overlooking the park. This is our home and people are literally trashing it.

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Anonymous

People here asking cops to do their job but y’all asking to defund the NYPD. With what’s going on now, Doubt they’ll enforce noise complaints.

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JaimeB

Rest assured that the families and professionals who live along the waterfront and who are affected by this nonsense aren’t the ones out there asking to defund the NYPD. Don’t mistake them with the relatively small but inordinately vocal Occupy Wall Street crowd.

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james edstrom

No, the police inaction make you think about defunding the 108th, why would any of us like to pay for a department that refuses to do their job? At first we think it is crazy to defund the cops, but then you get no services, they ignore calls, a cop side swiped me last night when we tried to ask him to enforce the law, now all I can think of is closing this stating house. Other night drunk guy blowing off fireworks, I had to call in a bomb, because thats why they were, bombs and the drunk guy crossing the street where I am talking the cops, smoking a bong, asking for a light from the cops and wasted out of his mind. Then the guy starts threatening me and my son, I yelled to the cops, arrest him, he is smoking a bong, threatening us, wasted out of him mind and the cops refuse to arrest him, get in their cars and go, leaving us to deal with this animal. Start making complaints to Internal Affairs, this is what I am doing. Our lives are in danger from the in-action of the 108th.

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Anonymous

You’re talking about the 108th Precinct. You can give them all the money in the world and they wouldn’t write up a single noise summons.

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JaimeB

We all understand that people have nothing to do and few jobs and naturally want to come to the park. That’s great. And with no restaurants The food trucks cater to the crowds. However the nighttime engine revving, scooters, public drunkenness, drug use, boom cars, fireworks, and graffiti in the park are a big middle finger from the outsiders who are doing it and the police who aren’t doing anything to stop it.

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james edstrom

Things are a lot worse than in this story. There was a call for a gun being pulled on someone the other night, drag racing everywhere. These Revel scooters being dropped by the company everywhere and the scooters are being used in the parks illegally, people are being sideswiped and the company must know this as the scooters have GPS. They know dam well the scooters are being used in the park, every day they drop more here. The story does not mention that the 108th refuses to patrol and when they do and see these crimes, they refuse to do anything. Litter not only in park, but all the streets destroyed with litter and broken bottles. People drinking and doing drugs everywhere, people peeing right at our front doors. This is not a small problem like this story makes it out to be. It is a huge problem. You call police, you wait and two minutes you get a text saying they showed and no action needed. Police are filing false reports that they responded. Other night 5 ATV’s going down the one way street, yelling 4 letter words for people to get out of their way, throwing fireworks. I flag down a cop, he backs up and goes the other way. The 108th refuses to do any enforcement and this has been going on for years. They have every excuse in the book when I speak to them on the phone but these excuses do not fly anymore, this was happening way before covid and protesting. Captain Gibbs needs to be assigned somewhere else, he has no idea how to police and he does not want to. No matter how many times residents call, no matter how many times we walk up to the 108th, they just refuse. They will not even let you into the 108th to file a complaint. This is why crime is up 285%, no policing. What happened to community policing they promised 2 years ago? I asked Det Torres, he said they drive around. That is not community policing. Community policing is the cop on the beat that talks to residents. We asked them 5 years ago to address these problems, now because they ignored our requests the neighborhood has turned into a dangerous place at night. I am a renter and it is not cheap. But to all you homeowners, I would be really concerned, your investment is going down the drain because so many people are moving out and not many people would buy if these conditions persist. I am sure I will get tons of insults from the internet trolls, they have nothing better to do.

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MRS-LIC

In all seriousness, if you can’t handle this, you need to break your lease and run. This is nothing. I agree with the shutdown; it saved untold lives. But the urban economy here will crater. That is not all bad. It was a complete and utter disaster for anyone in the bottom 40% anyway. I am searching for large open office space and the landlords are just beginning to understand. The commercial mortgage market will completely collapse; the Fed cannot prop it up forever. It will be the Wild West. Maybe we can build something better, because frankly the city was quickly becoming one large plantation with about 20,000 plantation owners and millions of serfs. It will require some perseverance if you are going to try to stay. And noise, bikes, trash? If you can’t deal with this, you probably need to leave for your own sanity. Unless you lived here and tried to make it from 1977-93, you will have no reference point.

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La Bamba!

People hate on police until they need the police. Police doesn’t want to respond to these petty crimes anymore because if the situation escalades then their lives might get ruined by people who will film the worst moments of the arrests while not showing what lead to them. You cream and shout “defund the police” and this is what you get.

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LIC DIRECT

James it is time to move. I Moved to LIC in 1998 from Lower East Side, bought a home in LIC raised my kids here, but this neighborhood has changed our local Politicians from Michael Gianaris to Jimmy Van Bramer have done nothing, nothing for this neighborhood, they chased away Amazon, they allowed our great Mayor DiBumslio and his corrupt wife enriched their friends who operate dozens of not for profits, flooding local hotels with ExCons, Homeless which we pay for with our tax dollars, crime is up, graffiti everywhere, overflowing garbage cans, drug dealing and these same people resent you and say you are privileged, because you worked hard, saved, and want to take what you have gained through you hard work. Many from the housing projects through tree lined streets, and the water front are pissed. It will be reflected in the coming elections. The local politicians are afraid to speak up and defend you. You have been abandoned!!!!

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Anonymous

Nothing more hilarious than comments here that the police take their job seriously and are here to help and its all leftists etc… what rock have you all been living under the last month?

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Sj

This is getting out of hand. The police are right here and they don’t do ANYTHING! Can we see some patrol officers around center blvd instead of them hanging around the precinct with their coffees?

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Anonymous

I don’t blame them one bit after the way they were treated and continue to be treated.

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sven

and the police have been called numerous times & have done nothing to help citizens.

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La Bamba!

The citizens have their head in you know what when the police is being vilified. But when there is a need for police over some petty stuff the police is suddenly blamed for not doing their job. You can’t have it both ways. No one wants to join police anymore after the recent events and the police not seeing any respect for them are not eager to go and help the ones who hate on them. Imagine if your supervisor at work has been always negative at you for all the mistakes few of your colleagues made and then when the supervisor needs your help right away how enthusiastic would you be to speedily help?

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ASensibleMan

The ban on indoor dining is absurd. The fake pandemic was over by the end of April. There is near zero risk for anyone under age 50. The continued shutdown is purely political, as our elected dunces won’t ever admit that the lockdown was a giant mistake and totally needless.

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james edstrom

A Trump supporter I guess, has no idea, I lost so many friends to covid and not all old, go take some of that Hydro whatever stuff.

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seamus

The park should be a resource for all people, but the blatant disrespect for the park and the neighborhood has been noticeable. The cars, music, and drinking should not be acceptable.

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Sunnyside needs park

The problem is that there are not enough parks in an area. The next park in Queens is Flushing so everyone between goes either to river front or to Flushing. We need more parks not buildings, Sunnyside railyard should become 100% park.

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Merman

Wrong. The problem is the majority of individuals that frequent Gantry have little to no class and respect for others. All of the identified problems (loud music, loud people, public drinking, drag races, piles of trash left behind, etc) come back to the individuals. Grown adults should not need to be told to have respect for their surroundings (spaces and fellow humans), take trash with them, etc. Welcome to America: The 21st Century ghetto.

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Anonymous

Having no respect for others has been an issue before. How many local residents disregarded the dog free zones because it didn’t suit them? How many locals used our green spaces as dog runs or failed to clean up after their pets? So yes some of the people visiting the public park aren’t very considerate…. just like some of the locals.

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james edstrom

Oh please, grow up, there is a big difference with people walking their dogs and not picking up their poop, that gangs of drug gang bangers destroying everything in their path around here. Aren’t very considerate, what planet are you on, we are in danger for our lives now. Stop making excuses for this kind of behavior.

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Merman

I’m going to agree with James Edstrom here. Your comparison is quite far fetched and simply stupid. I’ve lived in LIC nearly 10 years and trust me…a few high-brow folks letting their harmless, trained dogs run a bit was hardly an issue before. Drug use, drag racing on public roads, fireworks and loud music at all hours of the night are a real problem and I am sure the majority of LIC residents affected by said issues would agree with me.

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brooklynmc

I think that LIC’s status as an amazing family neighborhood has peaked. It isn’t the safe, quiet oasis that it was just a few years ago. A police presence on Center Boulevard would make a big difference and shutting down Blend on the Water would help a lot. Some things can’t be fixed but the speeding cars and revving of engines seems like an easy start if only the NYPD would do something.

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Merman

I’ve said for years that all licenced vehicles should be sound tested before being plated/passing emissions test. Any vehicle louder than something like a Toyota Corolla doesn’t pass. Loud vehicles have no place in a dense urban space. I also know our left wing politicians will never pass such laws.

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John Mbaye

Blend got a notice from TFC to manage their unruly crowds. Not sure how it will turn out but they have appointed a contact person for complaints.

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Mundek

Best of all most of the people in the park and gathered around the restaurants and bars dont even live here. Instead we get to enjoy their trash, urine filled bottles, broken alcohol bottles, food truck runoff, fast and furious cars, motorcycles and late night occupy HPS park activities. LIC is dead. This is not the neighborhood of 5-10-15 years ago and its only going to get worse with the new development north and south.

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GENDERZEROLIC

It’s over dude. It’s not your little private park anymore. And that is not coming back. Cut and run. You have no idea what this city will face. But you are clueless. Those projects will be abandoned. The only reason they continue is that the banks already released the funds. Not one penny more will be allocated to building. Residential and commercial vacancies were already high. But this will be devastating. It’s done. But it sucked anyway. The rich are gone. 450,000 have decamped to Cape Cod, Watch Hill, CT, North Fork, South Fork, Jersey, and even Outer Banks, Charleston, Savannah, Naples. At the least, they won’t be paying taxes here. And they won’t be living here for years. Office space was building out to ridiculous spec volumes. Biggest tenant in Manhattan? WeWork! They are done. Idiotic concept. Now dead. This is the calm before the storm. If you are not ready to face a decade of really tough times and help rebuild a better city, you need to cut and run. I will be working here. But certainly not living here for several years most likely. Think 5th Street 1977. It’s biggest claim to fame then; it’s where the Westie’s dropped bodies.

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Frank

Thanks DeBlasio! Seriously, bring back Bloomberg or Giuliani. At least they respected the police and understood that law and order is a minimum requirement if you want a tax payer base.

Remember this when you vote this November for all offices. The Left has gone off the deep end into their own version of the Cultural Revolution.

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Anonymous

Besides the trash, the noise, the doubled parked cars that making crossing the street more dangerous, the flagrant marijuana smoking, the flagrant use of alcohol, the parking of cars/scooters/motorcycles in the park, the BBQs, the excessive number of food trucks/carts (Sunday had more then 25 on Center Blvd alone), and the nightly fireworks it’s really not that bad once you get use to it.

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Merman

When you live in a society that has eliminated respect for others and self awareness from most dialogues and teaching, this is what you get. It’s ok to tell people something is not right. It’s okay to fine people or make them leave the park for being rude, overly loud, etc. America is falling more into becoming a ghetto every day.

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Marta

It’s been a total nightmare. The area is almost unrecognizable. It used to be safe, quiet and clean – a true pride. Not anymore…
~Center Blvd resident

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Spspsp

I lived on Center Blvd 3 years ago. I visited the park last week and was surprised to see how loud, crowded and dirty it was. It felt more like an outdoor mall or amusement park than a neighborhood. Too many food trucks, loud music blaring from some of the restaurants, garbage all over the grass. Very sad to see it like that.

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Jason Smith

Welcome to liberal, no laws, no respect for rules or regulations NYC! Thanks to Dumblasio and the Cuomo. And how/who would you like to address these issues? Police? The Police dept. that no one respects or listen to even if they get involved!

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