Apr. 24, 2023 By Bill Parry
With the temperature rising, Councilwoman Joann Ariola and the NYPD have a clear message to riders on illegal ATVs, motorbikes and other vehicles: steer clear of the Rockaways this spring and summer or lose your ride.
Last July, the invasion of marauding bikers got so bad on the peninsula and in south Queens neighborhoods Ariola organized a multi-agency response to set up checkpoints on Cross Bay Boulevard near the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, as well as near the approach to the Marine Parkway Bridge to seize illegal vehicles.
“I want to make it clear to everyone – what happened with the ATVs and dirt bikes last year will not happen again this year,” Ariola said. “We have a task force in place meant to specifically deal with this issue, and officers are confiscating vehicles and destroying seized bikes in all five boroughs.”
She worked with the 100th, 102nd and 106th precincts, as well as the mayor’s office, the National Parks Service, the Queens district attorney’s office and the Department of Sanitation to establish the checkpoints and vowed to do so again this summer. After swarms of illegal ATVs and dirtbikes brought mayhem to the streets of Richmond Hill, Ozone Park and Woodhaven last month, the 102nd Precinct in Richmond Hill formulated a response of their own that resulted in the seizures of dozens of illegal dirt bikes, ATVs and motorcycles last week.
“If you ride an ATV, dirt bike, or unauthorized scooter recklessly on any NYC street or sidewalk — it will be confiscated,” the 102nd Precinct posted on its Twitter account. “Our traffic safety and patrol officers have been hard at work making sure the 102nd Precinct streets are safe.”
Ariola vowed to monitor traffic to and from the Rockaways this summer so there is not a repeat of last year’s incidents on the peninsula and on the streets of Broad Channel, Howard Beach, Ozone Park, and Woodhaven.
“My office is in regular contact with the NYPD about this topic,” the councilwoman added. “Streams of ATVs and dirtbikes pouring through residential streets and the boardwalk should be seen as an affront to all peace-loving New Yorkers and we won’t allow a repeat of that again this summer.”