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Garbage And Lack Of Cops On 43rd Street Disturb Neighbors


Materials and Coverings used by Homeless Persons on 43rd

Nov. 18, 2015 By Christian Murray

Residents are fed up with construction materials, couches and food dumped by street vendors on 43rd Street between Skillman Avenue and Northern Boulevard.

“The street is appalling,” Christine McKay-Vega said at the Community Board 2 meeting earlier this month. “The garbage is disgusting and there are people who live in their cars.”

Vega walks along 43rd Street most days as she escorts her son to middle school from Sunnyside to Astoria.

“No one is taking responsibility for it,” she said.

The street is in a governmental no-man’s land.

43rd Street spans Community Boards 1 and 2, and the 108 and 114 Precincts; the dividing line runs near the railroad tracks.

43rdStreetandskillman1“This dumping problem has been going on for years,” Dorothy Morehead, a longtime Sunnyside resident and Community Board 2 member, said. “Every single day you see new stuff down there.”

“What is relatively new is the homeless people,” Morehead said.

Morehead said that because the street is at the very edge of each precinct’s coverage area, it is not very well patrolled.

She said that when her car was stolen from 43rd Street this summer, she waited for four hours for a police officer to arrive. Not one patrol car had come during that period, she said.

Morehead said the solution might be to erect cameras, which would help catch the perpetrators and act as a deterrent.

Patrick O’Brien, chairman of Community Board 2, said that he has reached out to the Department of Transportation and other agencies and has yet to receive a response. He recognized that the street poses a big problem and said he would continue to follow up.

pigeon droppings

pigeon droppings




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Plant trees, better lighting and cameras will prevent people from dumping mattresses, etc. there. I do have sympathy for the canners there. They are hardworking people trying to make an honest living. The pigeon poop is super gross though.


Let’s get a group of people together to maintain the street. My group planted flowers in the tree beds between Skillman and Northern. We took action. Let’s do more.

Ty Sullivan

I feel the same about 43rd Ave between 32nd street and 39th Street. It’s a garbage dump and I have an idea to beautify that to become and Artists Way and area for people to walk through without stepping over trash and furniture! More to come…


yeah wrote to JVB last month and never heard from him or his office. agreed that stretch is NASTY! how about some community service to get it cleaned up.

Louis Louie

Jimmy Van Bramer lives less than five blocks from this area. You would think he would do something about it. Thanks for starting the conversation on this matter.

Public Announcement

Use the 311 app if you don’t feel like calling it’s awesome. You can upload photos too. I’ve reported litter a couple of times and had sanitation come the next day.


I walk that stretch a couple of times a week, heading into or out of Astoria. I’ve wondered who exactly was responsible for maintaining it, and this article explains a lot. Guess I’ll try to join Matt in calling 311 if that has actually helpled. I have no problem with the bottle/can sorters, who seem to tidy up well after themselves, but everything else about this street needs an upgrade.

skills man

the underpass on 39th ave and 58th is just as bad near the near the new woodside elementary. the dumping and pigeon filth is gross. everyday there is another TV on the ground, garbage and chasing the lady who feeds the birds everyday makes it worse. I think it’s an underpass issue…….

James doe

Whoever the homeless people are that are there also take a shit in the handball courts in the park. It is so frustrating not being able to use some courts because of the shits we find at the park on occasion.

Anonymous visitor

39 street/Steinway is not much better. No one cleans the sidewalks and in winter no one removes snow or ice. I think Amtrak should be responsible for cleaning the overpasses over the rail yard.

Citizens United

Follow the example of “Matt” and call 311 when you see problems within your neighborhood. What will CB2 do? Last year a group of citizens held clean up days there and also cleaned up tree beds (closer to the park.)

Call 311 when you see an issue. You can make ‘anonymous’ reports.

anthony blackwood

and whats up with the van loads of people that show up every evening to sort out thousands of recyclable cans & bottles under the bridge. I have asked them to leave several times and the look at me like im from Mars..not a word of english between the whole lot of them

anthony blackwood

because..dope…i am telling them in english its illegal what they are doing and they are leaving empty bags/bottle caps/garbage behind them and they dont understand what im saying…jezzus


I think they use that spot because there’s overhead lights. They actually pick up after themselves. It’d be a lot dirtier if they weren’t using the area.

anthony blackwood

Matt- on the contratory they use the location because there is poor lighting and its quite secluded. I walk by there every evening and they leave hundreds of bottle caps and any containers that does not have a redemption bar code. I never see a Coors Light container disposed of improperly but who drinks that terrible stuff anyhow.


An issue on which we can all agree! And why is there no decent sidewalk by the rental car place? Total pedestrian hazard.


I don’t like it either. You can’t shop at Food Bazaar without going through 43rd unless you are driving a car. It has been like this for years and while the East Side Access crew was there, it actually looked good for about a year while they worked on the LIRR track area.


I sometimes walk over to Astoria and this area just makes me depressed. I’m so glad we are talking about this pigeon poop filled trash dump! Who dumps trash? I want to talk to these people.


There has always been a dumping problem at this location dating back to my childhood in the early 60’s. Install cameras already the return on this investment will be swift. Make sure you install the ones they use at toll plazas, those can clearly identify a plate from hundreds of yards away.

parking woes

The new douchebag owners of the bank have yet to clean up anything on 43rd st btw 43rd Ave and qns Blvd


Twenty? Try at least 50, that is how long I’ve seen those dilapidated underpasses. From what I have heard, the LIRR does exactly what it wants and not a bit more. Look at their property on Barnett between 48th and 50th. It’s a visual tragedy and always has been.

Del Toro

Solution: Open stores there, give permit for small size stores or food carts or something for free, there is a lot of foot traffic and they should just hand out those permits for free, it will prevent homeless and garbage problem and there will always be someone there.

Plus, why does every little overpass in manhattan or other prestigious neighborhoods get those bird spikes to prevent disgusting bird poop from accumulating but this area doesn’t. You need to complain to LIRR/MTA that they are not looking after their crappy underpass and structures, I don’t think Cops can do anything about the dumpsters or bird poop. Seriously disgusting.


There is no stores or foot traffic on this stretch of street. It’s very desolate.

The solution is to report to 311, or go pick up trash.


I walk this street every day and consider myself the official watchperson.

When the trash got really bad I reported to 311, and it was cleaned up (mostly) in 3 days. Why it makes sense to drop bagged trash off on this street vs. any other in NYC where it will actually get picked up for free makes little sense to me.

There is only one person living in a car — the blue & white blazer. I’ve reported this as well, but the vagrant removed the orange sticker and covered the tow markings w/ black tape. I’d report again, but I’m not sure where he’d go otherwise. Many other cars sit there for weeks at a time, and I’m surprised more aren’t stolen. The purple Geo tracker in the photo above should be reported as abandoned.

The overpass area is used by bottle / can pickers a couple times a week. They actually take care to sweep up the side they use. The other side of the underpass is where the mattress pads and stuff piles up. I’ve never seen anyone sleeping there, but maybe they do on occasion.

Craic Dealer

This is why a neighborhood watch is the best form of policing. The police (especially the NYPD) are just good at filling out forms.


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