July 3, 2019 By Laura Hanrahan
The Parks Dept. is in the midst of installing a new gate at the Forest Park bandshell parking lot that it hopes will curb a recent spike in unruly behavior.
The swing gate, which is not yet fully in place, will be operational next week, according to a Parks Dept. spokesperson. The gate will be locked at 9 p.m. each night, allowing the department to better secure the area after-hours.
The fence comes after a number of complaints were lodged concerning groups gathering in the parking lot at all hours and blasting music from both their cars and speaker systems. Residents also raised concerns about the unseemly amount of litter left behind by the groups.
The residents’ complaints led to a crackdown by the 102nd Precinct on the lot, located on the southern side of the park, with officers increasing their patrols of the area in an attempt to dissuade gatherings.
Having had several complaints brought to his office, Council Member Robert Holden began working with both the 102nd Precinct and the Parks Dept. to devise a plan to deal with the nuisance behavior, of which the gate was a part.
“This gate comes after many weeks of cooperation with the community, NYPD and Parks Dept., who were all committed to solving a problem that was disruptive to the neighborhood,” Holden said. “I’m happy this teamwork will lead to the peace and quiet in Forest Park that my constituents deserve.”
The Parks Dept. will also be installing new signage that will state the official rules of the parking lot, including no amplified sound, barbecuing or idling.
“We hope posting of the new sign will help make parking lot rules very clear to park visitors,” said a Parks Dept. spokesperson.