Serving the Bogardus, Hillside, Ellwood and Nagle area of northern Manhattan.
Summary of Block Association Community Forum
March 5, 2014, at the Y
(Bogardus/Hillside/Ellwood/Nagle Block Association)
About 30 people attended the community forum, residents of all parts of the block association: Bogardus, Hillside, Ellwood, and Nagle.
We first listed the safety-related issues that the attendees felt needed attention:
*Motorcycles and motorcycle gangs as traffic hazards
*Potholes, especially those on Ellwood and Bogardus
*Open-air drug dealing
*Speeding cars and trucks
*Postal truck parking, especially in cross-walks
*Post office steps (dangerous and no ramp for wheelchairs, walkers, and strollers)
*Credit card identity theft at local stores
*MTA lax snow removal at Dyckman Station
*We need a crosswalk on Bennett Avenue at the A train exit
*The long tunnel of the “1” line at 190 St and Broadway (really needs security cameras)
A project that may enhance street safety: a play street on Bogardus for the school 11 am- 2 pm on certain weekdays.
We then listed sanitation/environmental issues
*black smoke from the chimneys of the apartment buildings
*loud music at night
*lower level of maintenance of Ft. Tryon park along Broadway than of the upper park
We broke up into two brain-storming groups: the safety group and the sanitation/environmental group. Each group decided which issues to tackle first and how to do tackle them
The safety group focused on traffic-related issues: getting speed bumps installed to slow traffic, fixing the potholes, and having the Post Office correct the parking problems, wrong-way driving, double parking, speeding, the use of the trucks at night as hiding places for the drug-dealers on Hillside, and other car- and truck-related problems. Individual members of the group took on responsibilities for movement on these traffic-related issues. It was suggested that the block association website have an e-mail address associated with it so that we can send organizational e-mails to the governmental agencies.
Some of the specific tasks taken on by volunteers:
1) letter to US Postal Service about parking and truck driving; also contact CB12, local council members, 34th Precinct, and mayor’s office on this issue
2) Get info from 34th precinct about laws on open flames/hibachis and loud music, noisy parties
Eddie: contact DOT about speed bumps
Mike: footage of speeding cars on Hillside
Rod: talk with CB12 about open drug dealing
The sanitation/environmental group recommended that block association members call 311 when black smoke comes out of a chimney for more than a short time. The group further recommended that the block association set up a 311 phone tree so that several people call about an issue that needs correction, whether it’s black smoke, loud noise, or open hydrants in summer.
All attendees who want to be part of the “311” phone tree, please e-mail your phone numbers to Deborah Wallace who will send around the list to phone tree participants.
This group then had a long conversation about dog poop, litter, and loud music which were felt to be related problems, signs of lack of community feeling and of outright hostility. The dog poop problem seemed an opening wedge and to be solved by a two-track approach: law enforcement and patient, firm confronting of offenders. We should visit the community affairs officer at the 34 Precinct and ask for a special dog patrol 8-11 pm several nights a week for a couple weeks every quarter. This patrol would watch for people who don’t pick up poop and would also do spot-checks of licenses. There may be many unlicensed dogs in the neighborhood. That problem may indicate dogs kept for fighting but it also may indicate dogs that have not had their rabies shot. The group also was in favor of putting up those boxes of plastic bags for dog-owners who forgot to bring a bag.
We need to develop community feeling and a sense of belonging.