INWOOD — As the weather warms, neighborhood concerns about rowdy bars are on the rise as well.
Residents have once again began sounding off about the increased noise and mayhem on the popular strip that hosts several successful restaurants and say their quality of life continues to be adversely affected by loud motorcycles, dense traffic, reckless drivers and a party scene.
“If this were the Upper East Side and people were running red lights or honking or going the wrong way in traffic, Mayor Bloomberg would be making a mint in terms of tickets,” said Leah Holzer, a new resident to Inwood from the Upper East Side.
For years residents have complained that the stretch dubbed "Alcohol Alley" has become a staging area for showing off hot rides and loud music.
Police recently began an attempt to reduce cruising and drag racing along the popular strip by placing a police barricade at the western edge of Dyckman near Henshaw Street, blocking vehicles from proceeding to the waterfront. Cars coming off the Henry Hudson Parkway are directed to drive east on Dyckman Street.
But with blockades has come gridlock and increased congestion, with cars coming off the highway into bumper-to-bumper traffic all along Dyckman between Broadway and the Hudson River.
Although many said they appreciate the police efforts, some say the blockade is inadvertently making a bad situation worse.
“The police are doing what they can do,” said Inwood resident Grace Oliver, “but what we need here is a holistic approach, something that will address many of the issues on Dyckman Street.”
With a new 1,000-seat marina restaurant complex slated to open at the river’s edge, residents are putting pressure on the city, elected officials, police and the local community board to figure out how to minimize headaches on the corridor.
“The second the warm weather hits we have a problem every year,” said nearby resident Andreas Suarez. “It’s only going to get worse. We can’t go on another year like this.”
Community concerns about the current situation worsening once the new marina opens were echoed during a recent Community Board 12 Parks and Cultural Affairs committee meeting.
“I would love for this to be a safe place for people to enjoy the waterfront in a safe environment,” said CB12 member Zead Ramadan, “but I see this turning into Ibiza, complete with a beach party at the water.”
The Manhattan River Group, which owns La Marina, and the 34th Precinct are in talks with DOT officials to address current and added traffic issues once the marina opens.
DOT officals said the department has been in communication with local businesses, including the marina operators, and the NYPD and is evaluating the situation.