By Rich Bockmann
Community Board 12’s third-largest park may just end up being a solution to southeast Queens’ two-wheeled problem.
Areas like Brookville Park and thoroughfares such as Linden Boulevard are free-wheeling hot spots for people riding dirt bikes, community members said.
In his role as the new chairman of CB 12’s Parks Committee, Greg Mays hit the ground running earlier this year by taking a survey of area parks.
One park nestled behind the Locust Manor Long Island Rail Road station by Rochdale Village, he found, presented possibilities.
“Railroad Park, for those of you who don’t know, is the third-largest park in Community Board 12. You don’t know it because Railroad Park is a forest,” he said Oct. 17 as he gave his committee report.
Mays said he was working to find out what could be done with the untamed park, and when one community member suggested it might be a good place for dirt bikers to ride safely, Mays said he thought it was an interesting idea worth exploring.
“Certainly, we need to get those folks off Linden Boulevard, popping wheelies,” he said.
Off-road vehicles are not simply a nuisance, they can often be deadly.
In July, a 33-year-old man was killed when the all-terrain vehicle he was riding on the sidewalk across from Roy Wilkins Park struck a metal pole.
Dirt bikes were also a topic of discussion at September’s 105th Precinct council meeting.
“This year already, I’ve had two people die running from us while we’re trying to stop them on these things. Young kids. I mean it’s silly, its stupid,” said Deputy Inspector Joseph Courtesis.
The commanding officer said police have a chase protocol and would only go after riders for violations such as not wearing a helmet if it were safe to do so.
“If there’s a way I can get them safely while they’re off the bikes this and that … but theyre going run from us,” he said. “The second we light those lights up, it’s a game for them and honestly I think they do it just for the sport of running.”
Mays said Railroad Park is now owned by three different entities and the first step would be assembling and acquiring the land, an effort he said had the support of the Queens parks commissioner.
Reach reporter Rich Bockmann by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-260-4574.