NYC subway underpass now an open-air drug market: ‘Everyone is angry’

NYC subway underpass now an open-air drug market: ‘Everyone is angry’

A neglected underpass for the D-train in Kingsbridge, Bronx, has transformed into a distressing open-air drug market, causing fear among locals. Residents, including City Councilman Oswald Feliz, are alarmed by the rampant drug use, including public injection and drug deals. The deteriorating situation has prompted Feliz to send a scathing letter to the city Department of Transportation (DOT), highlighting the underpass’s unwelcoming and unsafe conditions.

The post-pandemic period has seen an escalation in illicit drug activities, with addicts openly using drugs in the underpass, creating an environment that residents find daunting. Feliz’s letter, dated November 25, criticizes the DOT for its inaction despite numerous ideas and requests from the community to address the problem. The letter emphasizes the negative impact on the community and expresses disappointment over the DOT’s refusal to take necessary actions.

During a recent visit to the underpass, the New York Post discovered several used needles, adding to the hazardous conditions. The trash-strewn walkway has become a space where vagrants engage in drug-related activities, contributing to an overall feeling of insecurity among residents. Concerned parents express their unease, with some avoiding the underpass altogether, opting for alternative routes to ensure their safety.

Residents report that addicts are present throughout the day, panhandling for money to support their drug habits. The situation worsens later in the day, making it challenging for residents to move freely in their neighborhood. Frustration grows among locals, who feel abandoned and unsafe in their own community.

Councilman Feliz extends his criticism beyond the Kingsbridge underpass, pointing to the neglect of Fordham Plaza. Despite a $34 million renovation seven years ago, the plaza’s current state has led to the closure of the Bronx Night Market. Feliz contends that the DOT’s failure to take basic steps to activate the plaza has resulted in unmet promises to the residents.

In response to the escalating concerns, a spokesperson for the DOT stated that the department is aware of the challenges and is actively working on addressing the issues. Acknowledging the complexity of the situation, the spokesperson mentioned ongoing discussions with stakeholders and emphasized the Adams administration’s commitment to delivering safe streets and welcoming public spaces in the Bronx.