Bronx residents complain neighborhood parking lot is 'dark, dirty and dangerous'

MOTT HAVEN, Bronx (WABC) -- Dark, dirty and dangerous - that is how some residents describe a parking lot that is located in a gentrifying neighborhood in the Bronx.

One Bronx resident has called 311 multiple times to complain about the parking lot in Mott Haven. G & S Parking sits underneath the Major Deegan Expressway at 135th Street - a dark dreary location that many say they avoid walking near.

"It's like being in the Bronx Zoo with a bunch of lions and tigers and bears and things - you don't know what's going to jump out on you," says Bronx resident Joe Whitaker.

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. is more blunt, calling the property an eyesore, in contrast with sections of Port Morris and Mott Haven that are showing signs of an economic turnaround.

"What we don't want is for people to look and drive by here and think this is still the Bronx of the 70s and the 80s," said Diaz.

There are two major complaints - droppings from pigeons who nest overhead, and poor lighting. Management acknowledges there are some cosmetic improvements the business can make, but say adding spikes to deter birds or lights to improve visibility is out of their hands.
"As far as the concerns that I've heard from the customers or the people around, we've done our best to make those adjustments, but we also need help from the city with that," notes Manager Avontha Sistrunck.

""We're prepared to work with them, we're prepared to work with the state and the city who always are at odds with each other, as to who has jurisdiction over the property," adds Diaz.

Management insists it has provided a benefit - affordable parking for over 20 years. Diaz says the time for cleanup is now.
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