The bulk of the operation targeted illegal food and merchandises vendors between Jerome and Webster avenues, but also targeted other quality of life infractions such as excessive noise violations from store announcements and parked cars playing loud music.
All together, 50 Environmental Control Board violations, 30 of which were for car radios that could be heard over 25-feet away, and 16 criminal court summonses were written, with many illegal food carts being confiscated and hauled away by the Department of Sanitation.
The response came at the request of the Fordham Road Business Improvement District (BID), and was conducted under the supervision of Lt. Charles Hammer and Lt. Steven Phelan of the 52nd Precinct.
“Fordham Road, between Jerome and Webster avenues, is a zero-visibility zone and street vendors are not permitted to operate there,” said Community Board 7 district manager Fernando Tirado, who received many complaints regarding safety and accessibility the strip.
“We hope to see more of these initiatives take place in the near future.”
The bulk of the complaints came from businesses in the BID, and they approached Tirado earlier in the year to find out how to remedy the situation.
“It’s through partnerships like these between the community and city agencies that we are better able to increase the quality of life in the Fordham Road area,” stated Daniel Bernstein, deputy executive director of the Fordham Road BID.
In addition to DOS, agencies participating in the operation were the Departments of Health and Mental Hygiene, Environmental Protection, as well as the 52nd and 46th Precincts Fordham Road teams.
The special operations police units fanned out into three teams, started at the intersections of Jerome and Webster avenues, and the Grand Concourse.
In addition to addressing quality of life complaints, the operation also stopped an attempted robbery of a Citibank branch on Fordham Road.
Tirado said by clearing the street of illegal vendors who make Fordham Road an obstacle course for pedestrians, many of the snatch-and-grab robberies on the street are avoidable.
The district manager adds that he intends to conduct similar sweeps in the coming months, especially in the summer, at the other BIDs and shopping strips in the area. These include the Jerome/Gun Hill and Kingsbridge BIDs, and Bedford Park Boulevard.
“We want to show people that the Bronx can be an economic engine,” Tirado stated.
©2008 Community News Group