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City Cracks Down on Trash and Drinking in Riverside Park After Complaints

 After neighbors complained about weekend litter, the city stepped up its clean-up effort at the uptown park along the Hudson.
Riverside Park Cleanup
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HAMILTON HEIGHTS — The city is cracking down on trash and outdoor drinking in Riverside Park, after neighbors complained about rowdy parties.

The Parks Department is hiring seven additional maintenance workers to clean up the piles of trash that rise in the park each weekend and recently installed 50 more trash cans, officials said. The Police Department is also stepping up patrols and tickets for public drinking, city officials said.

“It’s just staying on top of it,” said John Herrold, president of the Riverside Park Conservancy, which oversees the green space that runs along the Hudson River from 72nd to 158th streets. “Everyone has their way of using the park, and people just need to remember to take care.”

The 26th and 30th precincts have issued 22 summonses for public drinking in the park in the past month, said City Councilman Mark Levine. Police also seized two cars that were being used to sell alcohol and arrested five people for possession of controlled substances and one for marijuana possession, Levine added.

“We know with enforcement…behavior starts to change,” Levine said.

The city is also in the process of hiring seven new maintenance workers, in addition to the 60 who currently work in the park. Last weekend, the city diverted another 10 cleaners to the park temporarily, said William Castro, Manhattan borough commissioner for the Parks Department.

Gillian Rogers, who lives on Riverside Drive, said she was pleased by the increased police presence in the park.

"We want parks to be used by all, but used respectfully," she said.

Locals have also raised concerns recently about conditions in Morningside Park, where an unauthorized party two weeks ago left the park in garbage-strewn shambles