Saturday, January 9, 2010
Quality-of-life on the decline in Astoria
For the last couple of months, Norwood Gardens, Astoria resident Helen Carter has been waking up on weekends to find broken liquor bottles in her backyard. Donnelly Marks, another Norwood resident filled an entire bag with trash found on her block even as she walked her dog one Saturday morning.
The long time Astoria residents have been noting with increasing dismay the deteriorating quality of life in the quiet Astoria neighborhood of Norwood Gardens- thanks to a huge influx of bars and drunken visitors on 30th Avenue between 36th and 37th Street.
“People treat the street as their own private trash cans,” said Marks, referring to the bar-goers on 30th Avenue. “They empty their ashtrays on the street, dump trash, and broken bottles. People who come here don’t have any investment in the community,” she said
Over the last two years, Astoria’ 30th Avenue has seen a huge spike in the number of outdoor cafes, bars and restaurants. While the neighbors have welcomed the commercial activity in the area, they are annoyed by increasing noise levels in the area and the inconsiderate party-goers.
“They are waking working families at 3 and 4 a.m. with their street brawls,” said Marks, who lives off the busy commercial avenue. “They rev their engines, speed day and night and are destroying our private property, she said, adding a resident’s dog had been run over by a speeding SUV.
During the first six months of the year, noise in Community Board 1, which includes Astoria and parts of Long Island City, sparked more than 3,400 complaints to the city’s 311 line.
But more than the noisy bars, the lack of parking spaces and the party goers, residents say they are just asking for a little consideration from the revelers even as they mourn the loss of their neighborhood’s character.