By Gabriel Rom
In response to a growing number of complaints about unsightly and unsanitary conditions at the pedestrian underpass at 80th Street and 57th Avenue in Middle Village, state Sen. Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. (D-Howard Beach) last week met with constituents to discuss possible solutions for cleaning up the area.
The condition of the walkway beneath the Long Island Expressway has become progressively worse in recent months, mainly due to a growing infestation of pigeons that congregate in the tunnel. Droppings, old eggs, broken spikes and feathers are strewn about the sidewalk, along with litter and other debris left by foot traffic.
Addabbo has previously contacted the state Department of Transportation, which is responsible for maintaining the underpass, calling on the agency to clean up the walkways and do more to prevent the birds from gathering in the area. While the state DOT has made efforts to clean and revamp the sidewalks, the senator requested that the state agency take long-term measures to keep pigeons away permanently. After visiting the walkway recently with two constituents who use it every day, Addabbo got a first-hand look at how dirty the underpass has gotten.
“The Department of Transportation listened to our concerns the first time around, and my constituents and I need them to hear us again now,” Addabbo said.“While we appreciate their efforts to tidy up this area, more needs to be done to prevent this situation from continuing to occur, worsening each time around. These pigeons and the mess they leave behind are making this walkway unbearable, and the people of Middle Village and the surrounding communities deserve better. Nobody wants to walk down a sidewalk covered in bird droppings and dirty feathers, and nobody should have to.”
Addabbo plans to discuss possible solutions to the walkway’s growing pigeon problem with the state DOT and hopes to settle on a way to remedy the issue.
Reach reporter Gabriel Rom by e-mail at grom@