The city must take Olean Street back from the sex-crazed teens who have turned the lush country lane into their personal love shack, say outraged residents who are tired of having their quiet block turned into a troublemaker’s playground.
The ongoing sexcapades on the two-block-long strip between E. 22nd and E. 24th streets have gotten out of control, residents say, but its not the only thing angering residents: the street has also become a hang-out spot for illegal dumpers, loiterers, drug users, and prostitutes, they claim.
“We’re tired of all the activities that take place here after midnight and we’re tired of not being safe,” said Nelson Soto, who helped form a new block association to tackle the street’s quality-of-life issues. “We’ve offered to do everything on our own — but in a way our hands are tied.”
Soto said that more than half the block doesn’t have a sidewalk, making it a true country lane, but now the street is suffering from overgrown weeds and trees.
The new block association, which has solicited the help of Councilman Michael Nelson (D–Midwood), is already getting some action: the city has agreed to prune the trees young lovers park under — a move residents hope will shed some light on the illicit activities. The pruning should be completed by early August, a Parks Department spokeswoman said.
But residents say they won’t be happy until multiple city agencies bring amenities to the block that other Brooklyn streets have.
“Hopefully the city has some kind of plan,” said Ralph Del Piore, a landscaper who’s lived on the block since 1985. “Having a sidewalk isn’t out of the ordinary!”
Councilman Nelson promised that the Parks Department wouldn’t be the only city agency targeting Olean Street in the next few months.
“Every street on the map should be accounted for and not neglected,” said Chaim Deustch, a spokesman for Councilman Nelson, who said that the Department of Sanitation has already been tasked with taking care of the illegal dumping. “We must prevent Olean Street from being a continued eye sore and hideout to illegal activity.”