College students descended on Manhattan Beach this morning, as Kingsborough Community College kicked off the spring semester. And neighbors are not pleased.
It’s not at all a new situation. Tensions between Manhattan Beach residents and the thousands of students (more than 17,000, at last count UPDATED 3/17) that commute into the neighborhood during class time is an age-old story, with neighbors fed up with what they feel are disrespectful students, dangerous driving and illegal parking. But that anger has been heightened by a total lack of cooperation from city authorities, and it’s hitting a fever pitch as class sizes continue to grow.
Resident and boardmember of Manhattan Beach Community Group Flori Kostoff fired off an e-mail to us this morning, making a few predictions of what the new school year holds for neighbors:
KCC has started Spring sessions Today!!!! Prediction…..Unfortunately……There will be more car accidents, more illegal parking, blocking driveways, parking in Bus Stops, oh, that’s right, this is a Bus Stop??? Making believe there are no Fire Hydrants, did I mention running up on peoples lawns and into their houses. Have your camera ready ! Maybe the DOT will stop being Stupid and listen to us… or will they just keep on being an Agency that does Nothing for the Community and the people in it???
Well, that was the morning, before students flooded to the campus. Hours later, Kostoff documented a slew of transgressions, with one student even cursing her off. When she made a complaint to traffic enforcement agents on the scene, the agents refused to help, rolled up their windows and drove off, she said. A police officer finally came to help, and did get a few people to move their cars, and was herself astounded at the lack of enforcement – echoing many beach residents.
Since I last wrote to you (a few hours ago), I have been disrespected by the City of New York, cursed at by our disrespectful students of KCC and have been on the phone with 311 and the 61 pct….. Not only are the students parking in our driveways and in our bus stops, but they are ignoring the street cleaning ( alternate side street cleaning signs) !!! I’ve had the NYC Dept of Traffic (the city’s finest)????? tell me I wasn’t standing in a bus stop, which has been there since the busses started running in Manhattan Beach. They shut their window on me and sped off almost running over my toes. Is this any way to treat someone paying taxes and paying their salary?? I had a nice police officer from the 61 finally show up and talk to these students.One guy said his battery died and it didn’t matter if he was in someone’s driveway. He just had to go to class for a few hours!! The other one said, so, it’s a bus stop. Like there are no handicapped people here that need to use the bus!?!? The officer calmed me down and I let them do their job. She then asked me if it was a holiday and why isn’t anyone getting tickets??? I said” the holiday is Monday and IT’S RAINING!!!!!!! Then to top it off, I had a student tell me to go F myself. Such quality…. they can’t spell, they can’t read and they certainly can’t drive…that’s the dirt we have to deal with in Manhattan Beach. All I want is for everyone to abide by the law, take responsibility for their actions and I want my street cleaned!!!!!
We’ve heard similar complaints from other Manhattan Beach residents. If you live in the area and have seen similar behavior, let us know in the comments. If you’re a student and drive to the area, tell us what some of the problems are.
Update: The original version of this article said enrollment was at more than 17,000. That number came from Fall 2009 enrollment data – an all time high in the school’s history – and has since dropped to just under 15,000.