June 10, 2015 By Jackie Strawbridge
As peak season approaches, Astoria Park advocates are worried that a garbage problem on Shore Boulevard will continue to tarnish the otherwise inviting waterfront.
As with most urban green spaces, Astoria Park suffers from a litter problem.
Shore Boulevard, the road that traverses the waterfront, in particular has long been cluttered with trash dropped by both drivers and pedestrians, advocates say.
“It’s a terrible dumping site,” Astoria Park Alliance co-chair Martha Lopez-Gilpin said. “It’s not a place to throw your bottles over; it is our direct connection to the water.”
According to Parks Department spokesperson Meghan Lalor, the Shore Boulevard sidewalk gets cleaned daily and the garbage cans are emptied.
Nevertheless, advocates have been taking the trash problem into their own hands for years.
Green Shores NYC has hosted summer and fall shoreline cleanups for about a decade, focusing primarily on the rocks along the Shore Boulevard seawall.
According to GSNYC Vice President Clare Doyle, volunteers typically collect between 20 and 40 bags of trash during a three-hour period each summer.
Doyle said that volunteers typically find Styrofoam, plastic bags, fast food wrapping, cigarette butts and beer bottles on the rocks, although they have also picked up “quirkier” items, from a passport to a couch.
Green Shores NYC will host its 2015 summer cleanup on June 27 from noon to three p.m. Volunteers will meet at the War Memorial on Shore Boulevard behind the Astoria Park pool.
Lopez-Gilpin said that Shore Boulevard’s trash problem, which she called “tremendous,” is getting worse as Astoria’s population grows.
“Because of a density issue, [Shore Boulevard] is shifting. It gets much more pedestrian traffic,” Lopez-Gilpin said. “We’ve got to address usage, and with the usage is garbage.”
She added that one possible solution would be for the City to treat the corridor more like a promenade, in part by increasing garbage pickup, and potentially by blocking vehicles from Shore Boulevard during certain times or seasons.
The Department of Transportation did not respond to requests for comment on Shore Boulevard traffic mitigation.
I’ve only been living in Astoria for about 5 yrs and I notice Alot of visitors from other neighborhood come to the park and leave their trash bhind, I like that people like our park and water front but we are not doing enough to enforce cleanliness, I walked my dog and noticed mounds of garbage from people Barbecuing, and Parks Dept. don’t pick up enough or clean up like they should, I hope the city official can help solve this issue and keep our park looking clean for all to enjoy and kick those that won’t comply
Remember when people would throw beer bottle at the rats down by the rocks that run along the river. Stop whining.
I don’t believe for a second that Shore Bl is cleaned and trash cans emptied daily. That being said its the users of the park and waterfront creating the trash problem. If you bring the trash in, take it out with you…its that simple.
More trash cans are certainly needed but the lack of trash cans or the fact that they are full does not allow you to throw the garbage on the floor.
I know it’s become an echo here, but more trash cans are definitely needed. And not just those tiny oil barrel style trash cans that are currently there. We need the big ones that have the sloped cover on them. It’s usually fairly windy down by the water, so as soon as a stiff breeze comes by, all the trash is blown out of the cans and all over the sidewalk.
I’m just confused on why this is such a big deal? Just replace the trash cans and add one or two more along the boulevard. Simple. Stupid political red tape.
More trash cans and bathrooms are definitely in order.
I like the idea of traffic mitigation. So many families and kids down there, and cars and bikes FLYING down the street. So unsafe, and I’ve not seen one cop or car pulled over and given a ticket for going 70 down shore Blvd.
there is a lack of trash can and parks is not picking up the garbage not often enough…lets get more cover trash cans…not those ugly metal cans..I know central park has better care and definetely nicer trash cans
If you bring the shit down there take it home with you if the can is full.
I grew up in Astoria Park. The trash cans are always full and overflowing with garbage and there are never enough of them. The park has been a very busy place lately so I think its time they upped the number of times sanitation comes by and please put mare trash cans around!!
I agree. All of Astoria needs more trashed cans and less Hipsters begging at train station and Midwestern Transplants changing the neighborhood flavor to vanilla.
What’s wrong with Vanilla? That’s a flavor. Just one of many.
I live right by the park and many times as I’ve walked along the river, I’ve been frustrated as I had to hold on to my garbage for what seems like forever before I reach a garbage can. Sometimes, when I finally reach one, it is beyond overflowing. If they are really emptied every day then it is obvious more garbage cans are needed. People would do the right thing if given the opportunity.
The bins overflow, so even when people are being respectful, they have nowhere to toss the refuse. More bins, more pickup… both are necessary. And when large groups have permits to gather, they should also be held responsible for the clean up.
All of Astoria needs more trash cans. The whole neighborhood is lacking in this. The only trash cans you see on the street are overflowing with garbage.