You are reading

Roosevelt Ave. described as ‘Times Square of Old,’ yet plans to clean it up don’t cover 62nd to 70th Street


Sept. 2, 2016 By Hannah Wulkan

Roosevelt Avenue has long been a hotbed for criminal activity, and State Senator Jose Peralta announced a plan Monday to clean up the area between 74th Street and 114th Street.

However there are no such plans to take back the Roosevelt Avenue stretch through Woodside, which has been problematic in recent years too.

Peralta outlined his goal to put together a commission for Roosevelt Avenue (74th through 114th Street) on Monday, and called on the New York State Liquor Authority to stop issuing new liquor licenses to dance clubs in the area (click for details).

His plan also pushed for collaboration between city and state agencies, including the State Liquor Authority, the NYPD, and Community Boards 3 and 4. However, his planned cleanup stops where his district ends at 74th Street, and ignores the violence and sex trafficking that happens farther west in the 60s.

Roosevelt Avenue between 61st and 70th Streets has been a trouble spot after dark for years.

“We’ve had an abundance of problems along Roosevelt Avenue in the section west of 74th street, between 62nd and 70th,” said Community Board 2 member Patrick O’Brien who chairs the City Services and Public Safety committee. “We have some good operators but far too many really problematic places where criminal activity persists,” he said.

“We have been proactive along Roosevelt Avenue for years with modest success, and we deny liquor licenses to places we are concerned about,” O’Brien explained.

He said that he did not necessarily think that a moratorium on new liquor licenses made sense for the strip of Roosevelt Avenue between 62nd and 70th Streets, though he said he had not fully looked at Peralta’s plan and could not comment on it directly.

O’Brien also acknowledged that Peralta’s stretch of Roosevelt Avenue is much larger than the section that he covers, with a much larger variety of people, and therefore a different strategy might be in order. “He’s talking a stretch of almost two miles, but we have about 12 blocks, so it’s different in scale and scope,” he said.

“Moratoriums are difficult because they solve one problem and create others by denying good operators the chance to do business,” he said. “We have shied away from a moratorium for that reason, because when you paint with broad brush you do disservice to someone.”

Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer’s spokeswoman declined to comment on whether a Peralta-style plan was needed on Roosevelt Avenue between 62nd and 70th Street. She did say that his office is continually make an effort to improve safety in the area.

Assembly Member Michael DenDekker, whose district covers the piece of Roosevelt Avenue between 61st Street and 69th Street, as well as a stretch further up between 85th and 99th Street, said that he is collaborating with Peralta on his plan, but has yet to look at extending it down to the 60s.

Peralta’s plan specifically targets nightclubs and seedy late-night establishments along Roosevelt Avenue, and O’Brien said that he shares Peralta’s view on that point.

Pat O'Brien and the late Al Volpe at DOT meeting (Source: Streetsblog)

Pat O’Brien (left) and the late Al Volpe at a DOT meeting

“The night clubs tend to draw different types of patrons and late night crowds, and tend to cause more problems, so we have pretty uniformly opposed additions of liquor licenses to those types of establishments in our stretch,” O’Brien said.

However he did add that CB2 hears each applicant and evaluates it on an individual basis, and only approves those that it feels will improve the community.

The stretch of Roosevelt Avenue through Woodside is well known as an area for violent crime and sex trafficking.

In 2014, police targeted the area between 68th Street and 70th Street, where prostitution is common, for an undercover sting operation called “Operation Losing Proposition” to try and catch johns attempting to buy sex.

In 2013 there was a fatal stabbing at 68th Street and Roosevelt Avenue that left one man dead and another critically injured.

“The street activity after dark defiles the quality of life for people in the area,” O’Brien said.

email the author:


Click for Comments 
I miss the south side

I really don’t mind Roosevelt, day or night. I kinda prefer it the way it is… Not everything has to look like disney world.

Sir Walter Raleigh

been up in that area at all hours of the night and have noticed one single thing that is said in this article. May in fact be true but I have noticed anything.


Hmm, perhaps because the area between 62 and 70 is represented by a different councilmember who is focused on photo ops and the foolhardy notion he’s going to become mayor rather than on actually doing anything concrete for his district.

Root Canal

What kind of prostitution is taking plaxe there? I never noticed. I like hot built guys, are any of those plying their trade there? What are their rates?
Thanksfor your help, blessings!!


Carlos danger, Rocky, and the rest of your ignorant handles: You never post anything regarding politics. You have a warp translation of the word you uneducated buffoon. Your idea of a political discussion is nothing more then a cheer leading session complete with Pom Poms. You never post anything about policy it’s all a popularity contest. Are you a teenage chick? Rah rah rah you tool!! You want chest pound and cheer get into sports. Man up dude.


Carlos danger, Rocky, and the rest of your ignorant handles: You never post anything regarding politics. You have a warp translation of the word you uneducated buffoon. Your idea of a political discussion is nothing more then a cheer leading session com

Woodside in distress

They have to push the trash somewhere. It’ll go from 74st to between 70th @ 62nd so the 2 prior “cleanups” (2013/14), which i must have missed because its been dark,nasty and full of unsavory characters for the last 30 yrs. Theses creeps and lowlifes will resurface, just a few blocks away. I’ve lived here 60 yrs, shame how certain elements can decay a neighborhood


What does the state senator for the Woodside stretch have to say about it? Seems they could have cooperated, therefore covering the entire stretch that seems to be problematic. No?

Carlos Danger

Put Anthony Weiner in charge of cleaning up the area. He needs something useful to do. Just don’t let him near the hookers.

Hoof Hearted

Thanks the the elevated tracks above blocking out the sunlight and making a huge amount of noise 24/7, that stretch will always have a creepy vibe. Not much can be done about that.


Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

QBP Richards, advocates rally to demand Mayor Adams restore funding to City’s libraries

May. 17, 2024 By Gabriele Holtermann

A rally was held at the Queens Public Library at Forest Hills on May 16, during which Queens Borough President Donovan Richards, Queens Public Library President and CEO Dennis Walcott, union reps and library advocates called on Mayor Eric Adams to reverse the proposed $58.3 million budget cuts to the New York Public Library (NYPL), the Brooklyn Public Library (BPL), and the Queens Public Library (QBL) for Fiscal Year 2025, which begins on July 1, 2024.

Queens elected officials secure $70 million from New York State Budget for school safety equipment in religious and independent schools

May. 17, 2024 By Anthony Medina

Religious and independent schools throughout the city will soon receive additional funding for school safety equipment, thanks to Assemblymember Andrew Hevesi and State Senator Michael Gianaris, who, after extensive advocacy efforts, successfully secured $70 million from the New York State Budget for 2024-25 for Non-Public School Safety Equipment (NPSE) grants.