Addabbo calls on DOT and MTA to address quality-of-life issues pertaining to train trestle in Richmond Hill

Senator Addabbo views one of the new No Trespassing signs at the Babbage and Bessemer trestle to prohibit illegal parking in the bays.
State Sen. Addabbo views one of the new No Trespassing signs at the Babbage and Bessemer trestle to prohibit illegal parking in the bays.
Photo courtesy the office of Senator Joseph P. Addabbo Jr.

State Sen. Joseph P. Addabbo Jr. is bringing the NYC Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) together to help tackle quality-of-life issues in his district—such as filthy street conditions and loitering—near a train trestle in Richmond Hill.

Residents living in the vicinity of the Richmond Hill train trestle along Babbage and Bessemer Streets, from 84th Avenue to Hillside Avenue, have been vocal in their calls for measures to address ongoing safety and cleanliness issues in the area.

Frequent concerns in the area include illegal dumping, vagrancy, unauthorized parking, and loitering.

Addabbo, who visited the site last year, has called on the DOT and MTA for additional traffic signage at the location but is now also asking for the community’s quality-of-life concerns to be addressed.

Given that the train trestle falls under the jurisdiction of the MTA, which is responsible for its upkeep, securing intervention from city agencies poses a challenge, according to Addabbo. Nonetheless, he says he is committed to making sure the improvements are made.

“The safety and well-being of our community are paramount, and I am committed to working tirelessly with residents and government agencies to address the challenges we face,” Addabbo said.

Addabbo has had some success with the DOT. Earlier this year, the agency installed new “Do Not Enter” signs at the one-way section of Babbage Street and 115th Street, and a stop sign at the intersection of Bessemer Street and the LIRR underpass, where traffic merges from 115th Street.

The DOT also shared plans that it is considering installing a speed camera along the stretch to capture reckless drivers and drag racers, according to Addabbo.

Additionally, the DOT has committed to installing new street signs to clearly identify Babbage Street, Bessemer Street, and 115th Street, based on complaints that the train trestle obstructed signage visibility.

The MTA Police Department says it has been targeting trespassers along the trestle– following the installation of “No Trespassing” signage. Furthermore, the MTA PD and the NYPD have been ticketing cars illegally parked under the trestle.

The agencies are considering installing planters or bollards underneath the trestle to prevent illegal parking, along with getting the MTA to hire a crew to keep the space clean. Other ideas include fencing the area off, although community members argue that the move would require more policing.

Addabbo says he continues to explore additional safety measures in conjunction with the DOT and the MTA.