When a body was found in a blazing abandoned car a few months ago along Allerton Avenue the local merchants knew they had to do something fast to clean up this problem area.
Councilman Ritchie Torres, Allerton International Merchants Association, and residents are leading an effort to help secure an alleyway, which is crime plagued.
The alleyway, between Cruger and Holland avenues has a notorious past for being a breeding ground for criminal activity.
The unpaved site has been used for public urination, trash dumping, graffiti and as a location for lurking muggers to operate from. Many people are afraid to walk by this location.
This past March 11, Allerton authorities discovered a burning car parked at this location with a body in the backseat. It was revealed the homicide occurred somewhere within the 47th Precinct’s jurisdiction and the victim was disposed at this notorious location.
“This is when we started addressing this issue,” revealed Gene DeFrancis, Allerton International Merchants Association director.
“This location has been the cause of some previous concern such as drug use and several cases of undocumented workers being dragged inside the vacant area and mugged.”
“The neighborhood is great and everyone knows the area,” added DeFrancis.
“There are two issues with the alley, first it is an eyesore and it’s unsafe and the second is that it is unpaved.
“We would like to see the rehabilitation of the alleyway. There are talks of putting up a gate, paving the street, and installing cameras and lights there.”
Jeremy Warneke, district manager of Community Board 11 said that he has spoken with the city Buildings Department in regards to this on-going issue.
“Nothing’s been formally done yet, but you got to give Councilman Torres and Gene credit for pushing on this,” said Warneke.
Assembly Mark Gjnoaj has also addressed this matter.
“My priority is safety. It’s not well-lit and it’s a concern to the safety of residents and visitors of Allerton Avenue as well as the property owners of the housing community,” explained the assemblyman.
“In the past, we have had crimes and other negative influences in this area and we seek to put an end to this trend. This is a proactive approach for our community.”
Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson has also been supportive of efforts to eliminate this danger, said a senior staffer.
Though the effort may still be in its early stages, many have already lent their full support. However, they still need more help.
Anyone looking to participate can also attend the merchant meetings that are held every first Tuesday of the month at the Sanz Boutique Hall located at 815 Allerton Avenue or email firstname.lastname@example.org.