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Bensonhurst residents say trash-filled promenade ruins waterfront

Mary Glicksman has enjoyed strolling along the Shore Parkway Promenade, stopping occasionally to take in the sight of ships entering New York Harbor, for most of the 50 years she has lived in Bensonhurst.

But lately, her walks along the waterfront have been ruined, she said. “There are piles of trash everywhere. The litter baskets are overflowing. It’s disgusting,” she told this newspaper on Monday.

Glicksman said there is so much debris on the pathway, she has to watch her step.

“It’s like walking through a landmine,” she said. “This area is neglected in so many ways. Even benches are not available to sit on because they have bottles and food debris on them. This definitely is not one day’s garbage. It piles up over a period of time.”

With the onset of warm weather, the Shore Parkway Promenade, a 4.5-mile walkway-bike path stretching from the American Veterans Memorial Pier in Bay Ridge to Bensonhurst Park on Cropsey Avenue, is sure to see a significant uptick in visitors.

“It’s like our own boardwalk,” said Community Board 11 District Manager Marnee Elias-Pavia, likening it to the iconic Riegelmann Boardwalk in Coney Island.

Glicksman, who snapped photos of the trashy state of the promenade and sent them to this newspaper, said she is worried that the litter will get worse as the summer approaches. The area she visits is located on the promenade next to the Ceasar’s Bay Shopping Center at Shore and Bay parkways.

“If you think it’s bad now, wait until people start coming here with ice cream cones and sodas and then throw them away. We’ll probably start seeing rodents running around,” she said, adding that she believes it’s a public health concern.

The New York City Parks Department is responsible for the upkeep of the promenade, according to CB 11 officials.

Elias-Pavia, who visited the area Monday morning, said she was also disturbed by the proliferation of litter. “I contacted Parks. They came in and conducted a cleanup. They will also be placing additional trash receptacles there,” she told this newspaper.

But Glicksman said more has to be done. “It’s not a matter of more litter baskets. They should be coming around and picking up the trash more often. They should do it two or three times a day,” she said.

Glicksman is hoping the trash doesn’t ruin her spring and summer. “I’ve lived here a long time and this is the worst I’ve ever seen it,” she said.

Maeri Ferguson, a spokesperson for the Parks Dept., said the agency is aware of the situation and is working to address it.

“We share the community’s concern about litter in our parks, and as such, our crews work very hard to keep Shore Park and Parkway as clean as possible. Like all of our parks, Shore Parkway is cleaned regularly, and in 2018, we added more than a dozen new trash receptacles along the parkway,” Ferguson told this newspaper in an email on Tuesday.

Much of the promenade sits alongside the Belt Parkway. As part of an agreement with the New York City Dept. of Transportation, the Parks Dept. cleans the area twice a week and empties the trash receptacles once a week, according to officials.

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