Thursday, October 18, 2018
NYPD installs light tower on 2nd Avenue and 7th Street
There have been several published reports (here and here) in recent weeks about the growing number of increasingly unruly travelers/crusties gathering on the northwest corner of Seventh Street and Second Avenue.
This past weekend, New York Post reporter Dean Balsamini wrote that he was allegedly punched by a traveler named Zeke, who apparently had a "farm-animal musk" and "Charles Manson eyes," per the article.
In response to these reports and a growing number of complaints from nearby residents and merchants, the NYPD last night set up a light tower on the corner, illuminating the sidewalk and empty lot — site of the deadly gas explosion in March 2015 — to deter anyone from congregating and camping out (apparently in keeping with the mayor's Omnipresence policing strategy).
[Photo by EVG reader Ryan]
In an email to local elected officials this past week, one nearby resident wrote: "It's terrifying to come and go day or night! They own the street and it's getting worse. These are drifters, not homeless to be pitied. Help before someone is murdered."
Another EVG reader worries that the corner can only get worse. Luxury condominiums are slated for part of the lot on Second Avenue and Seventh Street. The eventual arrival of a sidewalk bridge would only provide more cover for the travelers, who like this spot with its proximity to a LinkNYC kiosk and its free Wifi and charging station, according to the reader.
Back in July 2015, following published reports citing a perceived influx of homeless people and drug users in Tompkins Square Park, the NYPD installed a patrol tower in the middle of the park. The NYPD removed it after a week. (We did get the tweet tower out of all that.)
Previously on EV Grieve:
Report: It's 'Crusty vs. Postie' on 2nd Avenue
NYPD installs patrol tower in the middle of Tompkins Square Park (149 comments)