QUEENS — Two rows of sharp metal spike strips were recently installed along a low concrete wall near the entrance to a Kew Gardens building where residents often sit and visit with one another — angering tenants who say they're a danger to tenants and children.
The spikes were affixed atop the curved concrete ledges in front of the six-story apartment building at 83-96 118th St., near 84th Avenue, about a week ago — and while building management claimed it was to scare away raccoons, locals say they suspect otherwise.
“I don’t know why they installed it here,” said one resident whose 1-year-old granddaughter often plays in front of the building. “It’s very sharp, kids can get hurt.”
Credit: DNAinfo/Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska
Residents said that people used to sit on the ledges whenever the weather was nice.
Some tenants also used to sit there to smoke cigarettes.
“There used to be an ashtray but now they removed it,” one resident said.
The building’s superintendent said that he was ordered to install the spikes by the landlord.
“We had some raccoons here and we don’t want them around,” he said. “They can carry various diseases.”
He also said that in the past two months at least two raccoons have been regularly spotted near the garbage area in the back of the building.
But local residents who commented on the issue on a neighborhood Facebook page, including some who live there, suspect that the spikes have been installed to prevent people, not raccoons, from hanging out in front of the building.
Notably, there are large grassy areas behind the narrow concrete strip where raccoons could presumably walk wherever they wanted.
"I was wondering about the spikes.. assumed they were put there to avoid resident lounging," one resident wrote.
"Saw them the other day. kinda messed up cause there are kids that play out there and moms sit on the wall to watch them," another resident added.
The landlord — a Connecticut-based MPL, LLC — did not immediately respond to a phone call seeking comment.
The story was first reported by CBS New York.