Sunday, August 3, 2014

Cross Bay rife with panhandlers

From the Forum:

There are plenty of places to spend money along Cross Bay Boulevard, but one particular option has left residents weary with both public safety and quality of life concerns.

However it is referred to, whether it is begging or panhandling, soliciting money has become an ongoing issue for Howard Beach residents making their way up and down the commercial strip. Just last week, The Forum spotted a supposed brother-sister duo on both sides of Cross Bay Boulevard near Waldbaum’s holding up signs asking for help and flashing them at cars stopped at nearby red lights.

But Joann Ariola, president of the Howard Beach-Lindenwood Civic Association, said consistent money solicitation in her hometown was both an issue of public safety and quality of life. Not only is it disturbing and sometimes off-putting to be bombarded with requests for cash, Ariola said, but it is also dangerous for those asking for money to be navigating through traffic during the busiest hours along the boulevard.

“I think that it is a huge problem along Cross Bay Boulevard,” she said. “It’s multi-faceted. It’s upsetting and sometimes, you feel threatened.”

The 106th Precinct did not respond to requests for comment.

State Sen. Joseph Addabbo (D-Howard Beach) said panhandlers were at the crux of countless constituent complaints coming through his office and recognized that community members needed to know the consequences of asking for cash on Cross Bay. The senator pointed to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Vision Zero initiative, which sought to reduce traffic-related fatalities, as a means of addressing the issue.

“I can see why residents get frustrated. Traffic is bad enough to begin with and now we have people, even kids, trying to collect money,” he said. “It’s a safety issue. I think the city needs to make a statement that it is not a condoned activity.”

And it is not only coming from the homeless or desperately cash-strapped, Ariola said. On any given day, particularly during the summer months, the civic president said she has seen young children asking for donations along Cross Bay with adult supervisors sitting nearby. Whether they are asking for money to help fund a sports team or another youth organization, Ariola said she and her civic members were unhappy with children being put in the middle of the street in the name of cash.


Anonymous said...

Panhandlers walk into the street once the cars stop and the light is red, and then drag their feet leaving. It's not a safety issue, it's a comfort and convenience issue because they might sometimes slow down traffic or make people feel uncomfortable.

At the end of the day though, they do this because it works. put up signs along the road leading to the commercial strip, and in every store telling people not to give the bums money. they'll disappear soon enough.

Anonymous said...

It's all a con game. Get rid of all panhandling on this major thoroughfare. How is this not similar to the squeegee men of yesteryear?

Anonymous said...

This is all over, especially here in Delaware.

Anonymous said...

Yeah put another Casino, and rail line to bring in more sick gamblers broke& desperate.
The prostitutes & street drugs & carjackings will be coming next.
BTW: Where did all that big promised casino money for the state & city go ?

Anonymous said...

I think the love fest this week between Sharpton, DiBlasio and Bratton pretty much put an end to the days of proactive policing and quality of life enforcement. We are now truly on our own.

JQ said...

beggars are getting younger,some of these kids look like your average hipster.

maybe mcdonalds and burger king aren't hiring on crossbay.Howard Beach,even though it houses middle to upper class,has the misfortune of being in south queens,where all the dregs of society flock to and continually endures civic neglect.

Joe said...

""We are now truly on our own""

Some of you people are just realizing this now ?
BTW Its only now its gonna go snowball worse" with quality of life sinking faster then the Titanic.
You aint seen nothing yet regarding begging and theft.
DHS is dumping around 1000 or so Central Americans per week into Queens 1/2 these people don't know how to use a toilet.
These so called "refugee children" and young gang members are to feral to re-educate and will never be able to support themselves without committing crimes like back home.

Queens and soon ALL of NY is F_cked up the wazoo

Anonymous said...

I see the older black guys in their orange vests and bogus typed id cards all over queens. I also see the young white folks with their dogs. I always carry a few cans of high quality dog food and water for the dogs......

Anonymous said...

Nothing will be done,at least by the police. Local Law 71, the eric garner incident..... You ARE on your own. I suggest good outdoor lighting, good locks,alarms and the joe Biden approved shotgun.

Anonymous said...

Also a problem is Michigan.

Panhandling on the street where one can just walk away is one thing, but being confronted on the subway or in traffic where you don't have the ability to walk away is another.