Tucked away on the west side of the small town of Broad Channel in the middle of Jamiaca Bay is a narrow, dead end, street that goes by the name of West 12th Road. Those of us who live there know that the nice part about living in a small town is that when you are not quite sure what is going on, someone else always does!
[Peter J. Mahon West 12th Road, Broad Channel]
Residents of Broad Channelcame out to find heavy vandalism at 17th Road Park.Broad Channel residents came out on Saturday morning, March 19, to find their neighborhood 17th Road Park had been trashed overnight.
Alcohol bottles were smashed, beer and other drink cans were thrown everywhere, and newspapers and other trash was strewn over portions of the park. Also poles that were put in to support newly planted young trees were dragged out of the ground and broken. Several feet of branches were also ripped off one of the new trees.
The trees, put in just a few months ago, were secured by cooperative community efforts to replace all those lost to Hurricane Sandy.
“It’s very upsetting,” said Broad Channel Civic Association President Dan Mundy Jr. “There was a group of young adults hanging out in the park that night and it is a shame that they would do this.”
Police, having received numerous complaints on the incident, are looking further into the matter and also into the individuals who were in the park that evening.
Going forward, Mundy said, “The 100th Precinct will be patrolling the park on the weekends and as a result of this parents should be aware that the park is closed after dark and that children hanging out in there could be subject to a summons.”
“It’s a shame that it’s come to that,” he added, “but unfortunately the actions of a few will now make it necessary.”
“This is Broad Channel,” one resident stated on seeing the damage. “What a disgrace.”
“Whoever did this should be prosecuted,” said another resident who lives near the park. “They have no respect for themselves, or the rest of the community.”
17th Road Park, located just off Cross Bay Boulevard has several basketball courts, handball and tennis courts and walking paths. It also has an adjacent children’s playground. Officially known as Broad Channel Park and part of the NYC Department of Parks, it is used year round by residents and visitors of all ages.
The park borders the neighborhood library, which residents also fought to get put in. Other incidents of vandalism included the metal “Queens Library” sign above the entrance to the branch being pulled off. The damaged individual letters have yet to be replaced.
“A lot of people use this park, day and night,” one man said, “and they leave it picked up and clean for everybody else using it. It’s really something. But this kind of damage? This is disgusting.”