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CB7 backs cops on plan to end 168th St. loitering

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Flushing residents are one step closer to a quieter neighborhood now that Community Board 7 approved a police request to help reduce nighttime loitering on 168th Street.

The 109th Precinct requested that signs which read “No Standing from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.” be placed on the short block of 168th Street between 26th Avenue and Francis Lewis Boulevard.

At its Monday meeting, the community board voted to approve the proposal, which was aimed at discouraging teenagers from hanging out in the area late at night.

Before the vote, community residents expressed frustration at the situation on the street.

“Channel 5 News asks where are your children at 10 o’clock,” said nearby resident Helen Czernick, referring to the Fox Five 10 o’clock News. “Every night they are at 168th Street and 26th Avenue!”

Lou Santo, who also lives near the street, said teenagers often play music on 168th Street late into the night.

“Especially during the summer time, it gets pretty loud down there,” he said. “There are some pretty bad kids down there. I’ve seen them.”

The block in question is just off Francis Lewis Boulevard, which has been a popular destination for drag racers in the past.

CB 7 Chairman Eugene Kelty said the signs have the potential of pushing the teenagers further down the side streets rather than forcing them to go home.

“It has good points and bad points,” said Kelty.

Nevertheless, Kelty said such parking bans have helped in the past and the board anticipated taking similar measures in the future.

“Where it was done in the past people have liked it,” he said.

The community board’s recommendation now moves on to the Board of Standards and Appeals for final approval.

The board also voted in favor of a second item brought forward by the 109th Precinct.

Former Inspector James Waters had proposed putting signs on 37th Avenue between Union and Bowne streets naming the stretch “Officer Thomas M. Langone and Officer Paul Talty Way.”

The signs, located next to the 109th Precinct house on Union Street, honor two police officers from Emergency Services Unit 10, stationed in the precinct house. Langone and Talty rushed down to the World Trade Center on Sept. 11 and were killed in the collapse of the Twin Towers.

The board also voted to recommend suspending the auction of two undeveloped properties in Flushing.

The properties, one just off the intersection of College Point Boulevard and 39th Avenue, and the other an alleyway running between Roosevelt Avenue and 41st Avenue between Parsons Boulevard and 147th Street, were taken over by the city after their owners failed to pay taxes on them.

The board voted against the possible auction on the grounds that it was not provided enough information to make a balanced decisions on the property in question.

“I think the process just stinks, frankly,” said board member Millicent O’Meally.

Reach reporter Alexander Dworkowitz by e-mail at Timesledger@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 141.

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