Floral Park residents are asking village officials to do something about rowdy teenagers who they say smoke and drink in a tunnel on the village’s east end.
During the village’s September board meeting last week, residents told the board of trustees that teenagers gather in a tunnel that connects Magnolia Avenue to Tunnel Street near the Long Island Rail Road tracks. Residents said the tunnel has been a longtime hangout spot but that teenagers have been particularly disruptive in recent weeks.
Dolores Whitehead, who lives on Stewart Street near the tunnel, said Friday that the police need to visit the area often and break up the gatherings. The sight of a police cruiser will likely solve the issue, Whitehead said.
“It’s not a constant problem, but it does give you an uneasy feeling since it’s near the hours where the sun is going down,” she said.
Whitehead mentioned an incident recently where teens took a statue of the Virgin Mary off her neighbor’s property “and, for no reason whatsoever, picked it up and smashed it in the street,” she said. “And maybe that’s what they think is fun and games, but it’s very stupid to say the least.”
Floral Park Village Administrator Gerry Bambrick said the youths are accessing the tunnel area even though it is closed off at night.
“Residents raised some very legitimate concerns,” he said Friday. “But it’s not like the area is being ignored and it’s not like it isn’t on our radar.”
Bambrick noted that the tunnel is closed at 10 p.m. and that officers routinely patrol the area. Still, village police are internally discussing ways to solve the issue and plan to solicit suggestions from residents, Bambrick added.
“We’re committed to working with them to find a solution,” he said.