Traffic chaos on Ocean Avenue and Avenue M.

Recently, Mayor Bloomberg delivered his final “State of the City” address, which ended up serving as a cheery look back on all the accomplishments of the mayor’s career. The New York Times described it as “an unabashed and relentless tribute to his own municipal stewardship.” The Times thought it would be fitting to gather personal responses from readers on the “state of their blocks” to see if Bloomberg’s optimistic description of the city matched their own experiences.

While the results hardly matched the sunny picture Bloomberg painted, many were optimistic over the changes brought to Fort Greene, Washington Heights and Oakland Gardens in Queens. Closer to our area, Times reader “David” painted a grimmer picture, describing his block in Midwood in a harsh light:

Avenue L between Ocean Avenue and East 19th Street, Midwood, Brooklyn
The state of my block is unfortunately terrible. Since the peak of the market that brought me here in 2006 from Manhattan, the quality of life on this block in Brooklyn has only declined. Ocean Avenue is a raceway with little to no regard to the speed limit, or red lights; I have witnessed countless accidents. Avenue L is one of the few east/west two-way streets from Ocean Parkway, and therefore a thoroughfare of endless honking, radio blasting, and again little regard for the color and meaning of the traffic lights; only double-parked cars seem to slow down some. Real or ill-gotten handicapped placards show in every car window that disregards alternate-side parking rules, to ensure that the street is never cleaned properly, without threat of receiving a ticket; likewise, parking by a hydrant. Trash accumulates on the street and sidewalks, never to be cleaned by property owners, or the city. Graffiti is ever increasing despite the city program to curb it, as are illegally placed posters and handbills, the rules seemingly ignored and unenforced. Children over the age of 16 and adults careen on bicycles down the sidewalk without warning, especially at night, unseen until the last moment. Those sidewalks are never shoveled by most property owners when snow and ice make it treacherous to walk. That honking, it never ends, it seems obligatory, people honk to say “hi!” – David

I live nearby David’s haunts and I can personally vouch for every gripe he’s got. The sidewalks are littered with trash, dog crap and broken glass. The streets are filled with aggressive drivers, car accidents are a common occurrence, and honking is a major (and extremely annoying) problem — not to mention faulty car alarms getting set off during all hours of the night.

What’s the state of your block? Has it evolved for better or worse during Bloomberg’s reign and what do you attribute the problems to? We’d love to hear your feedback.

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  • Maxwell Smart

    Growing up on Ave N & Ocean Ave many Purims ago Ave L was a quiet clean street and had terrific summer concerts at Midwood field…btw Ave N was a two way street back then

    • Subway stinker

      I remeber when Neck Road was a two way street, and then they filmed parts of A Bronx Tale there and it became one way for eternity. I remember when they would not film Dog Day Afternoon at the bank on Avenue P where it really took place, because the film’s location mgr. decided it did not look realistic enough. So they filmed in Park Slop. Ah, the movies.

  • My2cents

    Not a fan of Bloomberg but do you blame him for car alarms and car accidents?
    I can assure you that hearing honking is way better than gun shots. Let’s be reasonable it’s New York for god sake not some suburbs in NJ

  • Old Sheepshead Hand

    State of My Block:

    1 dog is the superstar of the block. A beautiful, handsome good boy who loves all people and most dogs. His companion however, is a piece of crap bully. Good looking too but a jerk to other dogs. And he attacks his better behaved pal when he can’t do to other dogs. He loves people but that’s no excuse. He’s a bum. The good dog is my dog. Unfortunately, the bad dog is my dog too.

    Meanwhile, two street cats have moved onto the side porch and made themselves chief lieutenants of the cat who lives next door. But boss cat is retiring now and after a power struggle, it appears the younger cat had won control of the block. But then a lady came along and took him for eventual adoption so by default, the older cat is the new mayor. Either that or they are alternating every week I can’t tell.

    We continue to fear the invasion of Park Slope leftover families but we’ll make an exception if they turn out to be members of really good rock bands.

    The Parks Department does an excellent job of cleaning the little park at the end of the block. And tSanitation has done an above-and-beyond performance with trash and snow removal. Unfortunately, neither have done what I really want is to remove the creepy young guy who sleeps in the park during the warm months.

    And finally we commend the neighbors for putting up with the cranky man who dresses well but has bad social skills and doesn’t know how to handle things like “saying hello” and “looking out for fellow neighbors”. I promise to no longer think of it as “mind your own business”. I mean…HE promises…OK it’s me. Thanks.

  • BrooklynBus

    One error that I can see. Avenue L is not one of the few two-way east/west streets. All are two-way with the exception of Avenue N and Avenue O, and those residents complain they are more of a speedway than the two-way streets and some want them reconverted back to two-way. Someone is always gonna bitch.

  • nauticalstar

    Kings Highway has become an infestation of skells. It’s disgusting. There are junkies, bums and drunks hanging out all over in the open. Especially in J&R Pizza.

    The old man who pisses himself, who used to hang out in and outside of the Chase Bank on E.16th & Kings Hwy has now disappeared. I think it’s now because they have some poor security guard to stand watch in there all night long. Otherwise, he’s probably found passed out in his own bodily fluids inside the Bank of America vestibule….

    There’s garbage, EVERYWHERE. There’s lunatics running around, and I don’t mean your usual lunatics either. One who has come up to me, twice – “Excuse me, miss? Miss? Miss?” (Who I refuse to acknowledge) And would keep doing it until he gives up or until you scream at him… Trust me, he’s not asking for directions. And then there’s the creepy looking guy who walks around holding his pants up who has this odd “cough” every few seconds and he always seems to be running around when the kids are on their way to school…Yeah, not creepy in the slightest bit.

    OH! And how I could I forget the *countless* amounts of asshole drivers who can’t DRIVE FOR SHIT?? I have to walk around with my asshole puckered so tight, just because I’m worried that some asshole on his phone is gonna run through a red light and hit me (Which has almost happened to me 3x in the last 2 months).

    Gotta love Kings Highway. I hope it gets swallowed into a black hole, leaving Highway Bagels alone.

  • Subway Stinker

    Cant wait for Bloomberg to decamp city hall, but demographsics aside, my little area of northeastern Sheepshead bay has barely changed in 20 years I have lived here. Brennan and Carr stands strong like a border checkpoint on the Marine Park frontier, the TA has bought some new, but smaller, buses for the B 36 and the Q and B still run like the Lionel RailRoad. The most noticible changes are the dirtier streets and uncollected garbabe cans blame DOS (bad) and the stop signs DOT planted (good) on Avenue V and Avenue W a few years ago, which seemed to have reduced collisions at those intersections as the Morons used to race to the green lights on the main Avenues. And the good old boys from the 61 Pct actually from time to time set up stealth stop sign traps and nab the mopes who cruise through the stop signs. I loved watching them go “fishing” for miscreants and reprobates from my front porch. Now,if only the Czarina of Bicycles or her Boro Engineer would pave Avenue W from Nostrand to Ocean Avenues all would be swell.

  • Bee

    Great. People behave like animals and then get to blame Bloomberg. Just great. There’s the valiant middle class for ya, the ones that can do no wrong. This country’s going to piss because everyone just does their own thing and blames somebody else.

  • AveUnotAvePU

    Bloomberg should take a walk on Avenue between Ocean Ave. and Coney Island Ave. It is disgusting. He only cares about Manhattan, not the outer boroughs.
    He should be ashamed of himself. What was once a nice shopping area, Avenue has turned into CHINATOWN, with the stores keeping displays outside and way into the sidewalk, making it hard for people to pass. The newest one on Avenue U near E.18 St., is one of the worst. The politicians must know whats going on and do NOTHING ABOUT IT. TIME TO VOTE THEM OUT AND GET NEW ONES IN OFFICE.