July 3, 2019 By Laura Hanrahan
The Parks Dept. is in the midst of installing a new gate at the Forest Park bandshell parking lot that it hopes will curb a recent spike in unruly behavior.
The swing gate, which is not yet fully in place, will be operational next week, according to a Parks Dept. spokesperson. The gate will be locked at 9 p.m. each night, allowing the department to better secure the area after-hours.
The fence comes after a number of complaints were lodged concerning groups gathering in the parking lot at all hours and blasting music from both their cars and speaker systems. Residents also raised concerns about the unseemly amount of litter left behind by the groups.
The residents’ complaints led to a crackdown by the 102nd Precinct on the lot, located on the southern side of the park, with officers increasing their patrols of the area in an attempt to dissuade gatherings.
Having had several complaints brought to his office, Council Member Robert Holden began working with both the 102nd Precinct and the Parks Dept. to devise a plan to deal with the nuisance behavior, of which the gate was a part.
“This gate comes after many weeks of cooperation with the community, NYPD and Parks Dept., who were all committed to solving a problem that was disruptive to the neighborhood,” Holden said. “I’m happy this teamwork will lead to the peace and quiet in Forest Park that my constituents deserve.”
The Parks Dept. will also be installing new signage that will state the official rules of the parking lot, including no amplified sound, barbecuing or idling.
“We hope posting of the new sign will help make parking lot rules very clear to park visitors,” said a Parks Dept. spokesperson.
It is a shame that a few bad apples ruin the bunch. This area has been open to the public for ages without issue and now has to be locked up. A sign of the times or a sign that the area is changing?
What do you mean “the area is changing”? I am sure young people have always gone into the park, smoked weed and blasted music. So what’s changed that some find intolerable to the extent we need a gate? The type of music? The type of people? Cops patrolling the area should have sufficed. This action would not have been taken if the music being blasted was rock and roll
It is not a “bunch of bad apples” or “times have changed” which are old and outdated utterings of empty meaningless words. Cops patrolling the area, Please there are so many more important matters. These are dumb, inconsiderate knuckleheads who if they didn’t play their music so loud to irritate the neighborhood could have continued to smoke and hangout in the park
The area’s not changing. I was smoking and drinking in this park when I was 15 or 16 in 2008/2009. Forest Park has always been known as the place to go to “party” underage. Even my older cousins who are now in their 30s, even 40s remember going there when they were teens. Technology just made louder speakers so the residents are actually noticing now.
Who didn’t? My point is that we didn’t leave behind garbage, litter, annoy neighbors or disrupt the neighborhood. That was the entire point of going into the park or forest to begin with. It seems that the latest batch of kids doing this are either raised differently, have no regard for anything but themselves or worse. Again, I think it is sign of either degradation in parenting which is exhibited in the youth they put out into the world or it is just another case of “hey you kids get off my lawn!” and we ignore this issue among every other “unimportant” issue until the area is a complete crap and the last of of us with means move elsewhere so these individuals can have their “fun” without us complaining.