From drag racing to partying at Clason Point Park, Community Board 9 members and residents are fed up.
CB 9 Assistant District Manager Shirley Alonzo told the Bronx Times that the board had received numerous complaints over the past several months about racing, sex, drugs and music all night at the park.
She said she understood the gravity of the recent budget cuts to the NYPD and the Parks Department, but it seems like the revelers don’t care. Alonzo said that Clason Park is becoming a nightclub and garbage dump.
“People with limited venues to go to are going to public places to party,” she said.
Alonzo said the drag racing happens down Soundview and Stephens Avenues down to the ferry. While this is nothing new, it has gotten worse since COVID-19 began.
“Drag racing has been something our community has always endured,” Alonzo said.
According to Alonzo, she and District Manager William Rivera have spoken to the 43rd Precinct, Parks and the Department of Transportation and are hoping to arrange an onsite meeting at the park.
After these parties, the park is littered with garbage that residents often take it upon themselves to clean up.
“We want them to know this is a priority,” she stressed. “We are outraged. We need to be working closely with our city agencies.”
Alonzo was quite surprised when she heard that the Parks Department to the Bronx Times that there were no 311 complaints about the park. She also was caught off guard when the NYPD told the newspaper:
“The officers assigned to the 43rd Precinct serve their communities every single day and will continue to do so. I encourage members of the community to coordinate with their neighborhood coordination officers who can assist in addressing their concerns.”
Residents spoke to the Bronx Times about the drag racing and partying.
Michelle Barrow, who lives nearby, is disgusted with what the park has become. People were dealing with the pandemic and employment and these issues just made matters worse. She said she could not even take her daughter to the park anymore.
According to Barrow, the partying and racing goes from 4 p.m. to 4 a.m. She added that the cars are often parked illegally in the park, blocking the entrance for the Bx27 bus to get in and out.
“Most people in the community use the park for recreation,” she said. “The park has become the new bar.”
She hopes the community board, Parks and NYPD can find a viable solution for these longstanding issues.
Resident Tiffany Young has seen and heard the ruckus every night. She recalled that once, a city bus had to drive backwards due to the double parked cars.
She said the parties on the weekends were common, but currently, they happen every single day.
“None of us feel comfortable anymore,” she exclaimed. “We used to feel safe. Now it’s a glorified nightclub.”
Young and her husband, who live a few blocks from the park, have called 311 nightly to no avail. Young said that she and her family are now looking to move.
She has witnessed gender reveal parties, concerts and COVID-19 memorials in the park, on top of the illicit behavior she has seen.
“We’re not going to stop calling 311,” she said.
Vanessa Tabet, 25, said she can no longer take her little sister to the park. Her family moved to Soundview five years ago because they thought it was a safe, quiet place.
Now every night, it’s a constant party. She was astonished that when she went to the 43rd Precinct, they told her to complain to a news outlet or write a letter to the police commissioner.
“They have not been cooperative with us at all,” Tabet said.
According to Tabet, when the cops do come, the vandals turn off the music and as soon as they leave, the parties resume.
“I’m really tired of this situation,” she said. “Anything that you can imagine has happened there [the park.]”