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Property Owners Meeting Roundup: Local Teens Drop By to Defend Dirtbikes

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The March 3rd property owners meeting was much more lively than normal.

As usual the 61st gave a rundown of what has been going on in the neighborhood:

  • 9 summonses for atvs this past weekend
  • 12 summonses for drinking
  • Double parking 277 will be strictly enforced. PS 277 sent out a letter.
  • 6-10 Arrests for marijuana or controlled substance possession. (Primarily GBkids getting arrested.)

The Narcotics Sergeant explained that they conduct daily enforcement in Gerritsen Beach and that 6-10 arrests are typical for a month. Although their main mission is to arrest the dealers, they will take any possession arrest they can get.

The reason the meeting was livelier that usual is that four young “kids” came to sit-in on the meeting. They wanted answers from the 61st regarding the legality of their quads/dirt bikes, specifically riding back weeds. The kids said that they have been arrested and summonsed by the 61st for riding their quads back weeds and also on the street. Since the kids were told by Park Rangers/DEC that they would not be bothered,  they wanted to know why the police are bothering them.

A small debate ensued between the members, the 61st and the “kids”. The 61st pointed out that everyone in GB complains about the quads on the street, soccer fields, back weeds, etc. and that they are only enforcing a law. The “kids” said that all they want is to have a good time, have somewhere and something to do, and that they don’t want to stop having fun with their “favorite hobby”. One “kid” said his quad was completely legitimate, that he had everything insured, registered, and the paper work with him, but the police would still bother him no matter what. . GBPOA members explained that although it might not be them specifically causing trouble, those that do cause trouble will ruin the fun for everyone. Although the kids made great points, they were shutdown by the 61st saying that the bottom line was that you’re breaking the law. In the State of New York you cannot operate these devices on sidewalks, public streets or highways. These devices are motor vehicles, but they do not have the correct equipment or design for operation on roadways.

  • Motorized Scooter – a device with a motor attached and a handlebar for a standing rider.  An example of a motorized scooter is the device called the Go-ped®.
  • Mini-bike – a small, motorized device with two wheels and created for off-road use. A mini-bike does not qualify as a moped, a motorcycle or an ATV.
  • Dirt Bike – a motorized device like a motorcycle, but created for and used for off-road use. Some “dirt bikes” qualify as an ATV. These vehicles can register and operate off-road as an ATV.
  • Go-Kart – a small, motorized device with four wheels, created for off-road use. You cannot register a go-kart as a motor vehicle or ATV because a go-kart does not have the same equipment.
  • Motor-assisted Bicycle – a bicycle to which a small motor is attached. A motor-assisted bicycle does not qualify for a registration as a motorcycle, moped or ATV and does not have the same equipment.

You are subject to arrest if you operate one of these motorized vehicles and do not have a registration, driver license, inspection, insurance or correct equipment.

After the 61st left the meeting the discussion still continued. George Broadhead, president of the GBPOA, promised the “kids” that he would look into the matter and to investigate see what could be done to allow them to ride. He also suggested that he would/could arrange a meeting between the “kids” and Anthony Weiner to expedite the matter.

GerritsenBeach.net was also a hot topic at the meeting, being discussed for the first time in a public forum. The discussion/yelling match that ensued was specifically aimed at anonymous comments and Halloween pictures that are on the website. It seems that the “kids” do not like the anonymous comments, they would rather people leave their names. A board member countered with that people do not leave their name for fear of retaliation, which is VERY common down here.

The kids accused GerritsenBeach.net and Our News publisher Joel Garson of violating their privacy by taking pictures of them on the street during Halloween. It was explained to them that its still a free country, that there is no reasonable expectation of privacy on the street, and that there is nothing they can do. If their theory was true every parent taking photos at a playground or their kid trick or treating would be violating someones privacy.

The GBOPA then suspended their normal bylaws to take a vote on distributing monies to Resurrection, and other old business items.

It was very obvious that these “kids” enthralled the whole meeting/board with their presence. It was surprising to see some of GBPOA members who are usually very VERY vocal about some of local kids support them coming into the meeting. The kids were literally applauded for coming in, and some Board Members even wanted to change the minimum age requirement to 18 to allow them to become members on the spot. Don’t get me wrong, it was very brave of them to come in and confront the 61st at the meeting, but just as quickly as they gained my respect they threw it all away when they physically threatened myself, my camera and Our News publisher Joel Garson.

Some were calling it a possible new beginning for these kids. They were told forget Halloween, that they made a step in the right direction by coming to this meeting to discuss the matter. They were told that they have a chance to improve the community by staying out of trouble, and that one day they might be a active community member or leader and that by staying out of trouble they will be able to get a decent job and not have a past follow them.

New Beginning or Same Ol’ Same Ol?

53 comments to Property Owners Meeting Roundup: Local Teens Drop By to Defend Dirtbikes

  • bagels

    I think it’s a new beginning but it’s unfortunate they resorted to thuggish behavior when they threatened your crew. It’s a good thing that they came to the meeting and aired their gripes and they should be welome at all meetings. As Sun-tzu said, “keep your friends close, but keep your ‘enemies’ closer.”

  • anonymous

    I think it is great that these “kids” showed up, but I think they should go to the 61st Precinct community meeting. The info on the 61 precinct web page states the meetings are at 7:30pm the 2nd Weds of each month @ 3093 Ocean Ave. You can call the precinct (718-627-6611) to confirm the meeting. This might be a better forum for the problems they want to address.

    I love that they say they have rights…but I too have the right to remain anonymous.

  • anonymous

    i was at the meeting there was no threats there was comments

  • Anonymous

    there were threats made to them I was also there.

  • Betty

    Does anyone take minutes of the meeting?

    • Anonymous

      Minutes are taken at each meeting and read at the next one. If for some reason the person who took the minutes are not there at the next meeting they are supended. :)

  • originalgbgirl

    did these kids see the accident on knapp st on Monday? go ahead a holes ride on the streets get killed If they ride only and only way back of the weeds thats good and as far as a threat to anyone I would have them arrested

  • bagels

    I thought we just read the minutes.

  • George Broadhead

    In follow-up to my promise to the young men who attended the GBPOA meeting, 03/04, I was informed by Congressman Weiner’s office, that the sector of the “weeds” discussed, is not under the Gateway Federal jurisdiction. Regardless, this is just the beginning of keeping a promise made to the young men. I will personally explore every means to find a way–if possible–for the legal use of ATV’s. The young man who followed the rules and had his ATV insured and licensed was later to learn that the use of these vehicles seems to be limited to obscure regions in the Northwoods. There must be locations within the city limits that could accommodate the use of ATV’s.
    As for the behavior of the young men who attended the meeting. There are two sides to every story. They did raise the question about being photographed and written about against their wishes, but for most people present, it was not perceived to be a threat. Unfortunately, living with “Paparazzi” and “bloggers” has become a way of life.
    You catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar. Continue to attend community meetings; get the word out to those who engage in vandalism that it alienates the people who can help you to get those things you want. The overwhelming majority of those who attended the meeting on 03/04 want to find a way to help the responsible youth of our community. In this specific instance, to find a way for the safe, legal use of ATV’s…. GRB

  • anonymous

    I don’t want these atv’s tearing up backweeds, let em go where they are legal.

    • bill

      give us a place to ride then..i just traveled 2 hours this past weekend to ride..thats insane..when you register an atv that money goes to a fund for a place to ride..we have no place to go around herewhat if you could not do something you really enjoyed,you would not be happy

  • Resident

    As of Saturday, March 7th at 1pm:

    The kids are tearing up the soccer fields while there are families there… the GB association should not be exploring this.

    I wouldn’t even be surprised if its even the kids in the picture

    I remember the soccer field construction, how much money was that again?

  • blueMagoo

    I think dirt bikes & ATVs just don’t belong anywhere inside city limits as there is no room to operate them safely and not ruin the environment of the very few “wild” places remaining in the city like the salt marsh.

    The other issue is the noise these vehicles make as I personally hate it when a stroll through the salt marsh that is supposed to be relaxing gets ruined from the sounds of these illegally operated vehicles. There is a difference between living in the city and living in a rural area so why don’t these kids ask their parents to move to the boonies if they can’t enjoy their “hobby” legally inside the city limits?

    The sad thing is that if one of these kids get injured or worse operating these machines on city parkland I’m sure their parents will be quick to sue the city and then any settlement they may get would be one more thing our taxes would have to cover.

    Sorry guys I was a teen once myself & would have thought it was cool to ride one of these things but the city really isn’t the place for them and that’s why it’s illegal to operate them.

  • beachwalker

    They are not only tearing up the soccer fields, they are also doing alot of damage back weeds. I know alot of people will say “who cares?’ but if you take a walk back there- its alot more than just weeds. They are blazing all kinds of new trails and there is alot of wildlife back there that is under assault. If only they could operate with more respect, for people and the enviornment. In the summer it is heartbreaking to see all the horseshoe crabs that come up to lay eggs on the beach runover and crushed and squished into the mud. We save what we can but many are just too damaged or already dead. And it goes on day after day the whole season. You have to ask yourself “why?” Is that REALLY fun? Mr. Broadhead, with all due respect, they are illegal for a reason. Let it be. They shouldn’t have invested money in a vehicle before finding out where they could legally ride. If Bill has to travel 2 hrs. to ride, then thats what he has to do. Truth is, I suspect, they knew all along that it is illegal and just thought that no one would care because its “only” back weeds. Think again.

  • anon

    Mr. Broadhead, I have the utmost respect for you but you need to follow the law. Law and order is breaking down enough in society. Please find a new cause. Let them move upstate and ride. It was said on Saturday Night Live that upstate is Deliverance on snow tires and that is where these guys belong.

  • George Broadhead

    I hope that those who are so adamantly opposed about trying to find a solution to an existing problem attend the GBPOA meetings. If they do, they would have heard that riding on the streets and the destructive riding on the soccer fields was addressed. Until the time the young men attended the March meeting, all communication regarding the dirt bikes has been negative. I offered to use whatever channels at our disposal to find a “legal” place for the recreational use of the ATV’s. We haven’t scratched the surface yet as far as options go. Floyd Bennett Field may be an option (I’m sure there are those who would object immediately, without knowing how that could be done). Honestly, I don’t know how it could be done, but problems exist to be solved. To the “Resident”: We are all in agreement about the soccer and the baseball fields. We are exploring the possibility of helping to find a legal place to prevent the illegal use of the soccer and baseball fields. I made a promise to try to find a way, and I’m going to keep that promise. I don’t feel that I’m “wasting my time”.

    • Anonymous

      you cant go to floyd bennett to ride bikes

    • seamus

      I doubt at this time it is legal for Atv’s to be operated anywhere in Gateway National park, but I would think that if those who really want it, push for it, and contact thier legislators, an area could be reserved for such activity. The only problem I see with that is; if the area is designated in the back weeds, eventually we could see riders from all parts of the city coming down to the beach to ride.

    • beachwalker

      Mr. Broadhead, I don’t attend GBPOA meetings because I work weeknights. (thats why I am so grateful for this website, to get info on whats going on in the ‘hood) But I am a member and I am adamantly opposed to dirt bikes and ATVs ruining my weekends. I understand that these kids came in to talk about the problem and I applaud you for taking them seriously. Too often the kids are cast as nothing but losers and they deserve credit for coming in to the meeting and trying to handle this maturely. I am happy that you are willing to help them explore the options, but making them legal back weeds shouldn’t be one of them. Good Luck with Floyd Bennett. And Seamus, there are already people who come here from all over to ride. They pull in with ATVs and dirt bikes on flatbeds and trailers and proceed to disturb the peace and tear up the salt marsh with no regard or respect for residents. It must be HORRIBLE to live on the Ave., especially on the weekends.

    • Resident

      Fine, Then as a paintballer I want a meeting and all of my options explored. If anything we do less damage than those a-holes. We want a “legal” place to play and have fun with our favorite hobby. \

      I bet the paintball store guy would love to know that the ATV’s are going to get a free pass.

      • bill

        what kind of chemicals are in those paint balls that are getting all over the trees and stuff..it goes 2 ways man

        • Resident

          Paintballs are completely biodegradable and will wash away from most surfaces with water or will vanish after a rainstorm. Paintballs are gelatin capsules filled with an oil or polyethylene glycol (the base of cough syrups) and food-coloring dye mixture. Both the shells and the fill will naturally biodegrade and will not leave lasting marks on the environment.

          The only potential worry with paintballs is staining certain fabrics.

  • Anonymous

    there is no where else to ride around here you go to pa or nj to ride.lighten up.!!!!!!!!

  • Anonymous

    i havea bike ANd it is annoying being worried about getting your bike taking away..

  • its meeee

    ommg back weeds is done i wat do u see back there a freakin duck use r so stupied ill do a wheelie threw ur living room shut up already make it leagal then kids wont be flying down ur block running from the cops it could be worse it could be ur kid int he middle of the street and if it was legal they wouldent be doing 80 down the courts and on the ave they would stay back weeds..

  • George Broadhead

    The person who wrote about the dirt bikes being brought in from outside of Gerritsen Beach is absolutely right… They are a nuisance, dangerous and “illegal”. The skate board park has already created problems, and no doubt opening the back weeds would do the same. At our meetings, residents have addressed this matter with the police–who send a representative from the 61st each month–and they have issued tickets, made arrests, etc. It gets more complicated because the other side of Gerritsen Avenue is under the jurisdiction of another precinct and another Community Board. Speaking for myself, it isn’t my intention to reward petulance, ill-manners or threatening behavior, but so long as it concerns the well-being of our community, and those young men who made an overture to reach out to the adult community, I will keep my promise to them to try to find a way. So far, most responses to seeking a positive solution have been negative. For those of us who lived in Gerrritsen Beach when it was a dirt road community, the weeds was always “ours”. The reality is, that is no longer true. What hasn’t changed is that there are still families with children growing up in this community, and it would seem from not too distant events, there has been a lack of communication between us. Given time, we will find a solution to the problem. I’m surprised that no one has mentioned that if you ski, you have to travel at least 2 hours. Instead of dwelling on the negative, let’s look at all of the options.

    • Resident

      George I dont know you but you sound like a smart guy but I have to say your being a bit hypocritical saying, if people come from outside the neighborhood its illegal but when a few local kids show up at a meeting it’s now ok for them to ride?

      Bottom line is that they are illegal on the street and back weeds. The most positive solution would be breaking the bad news to the little ones and moving on.

      IT IS NOT ACCEPTABLE! THEY WERE TEARING UP THE LARRY VEILING FIELDS, THE SENIOR FIELDS, AND THE SOCCER FIELDS! and RIDING ALL THOUGHT THE COURTS AND GERRITSEN AVE!

      but you know what….keep your promises, to kids that don’t care and you wont see again.

    • Resident

      George I do think I know you. Next time I see you I will have to say hello.

  • anon

    George the resident reply hit the nail on the head. Stop coddling people that are breaking the law.

  • Anonymous

    I do not agree that the skate park is causing problems george!

    that park was built for a place for our kids to go. I do not see any problem with the skate park that would not have been forseen.

    what are the problems created?

  • George Broadhead

    The person who thinks I’m being hypocritical about dirt bikes being brought in from outside the beach being illegal, and those owned locally not being illegal has misread what I wrote. They are both illegal when used where they are prohibited. Another person stated that the first accident using a dirt bike–if legally permitted on park land–would undoubtedly lead to a law suit, may or may not be right about that. What is the future for the skate park, if someone breaks a wrist or an elbow. There is an element of risk on all play fields. Since many responders are venting on the subject based on the same observations we are each familiar with, I would like to make clear that I’m not leading a cause to make it possible for ATV’s to be driven through the Courts and on the Avenues, or on any of the fields. Like anyone else who has observed the misuse of the ATV’s, I think legal action should be taken when the driver’s are breaking the law. That does not preclude trying to help finding a location where they may be used legally. If we can’t have a dialogue that doesn’t turn into sniping at each other, then we are right back where we started. The problem with the skate park to date has to do with the number of arrests for marijuana possession. While that could happen at any location, it is a problem that several parents have brought to the attention of the community. If some sap reads into that, that I want to legalize pot, think again.

    • Anonymous

      The skate park is not the problem then. 277’s park was and still very well might be a problem for possessions, and late night hanging out. Isnt that up to the police and city then? But these problems were no unforseen.

      To go back to one of your analogies…if purposely leave a jar of honey open, can we complain when flys come?

    • Anonymous

      george ignore the the remarks at least you are trying to do something! keep up the good work you do for the community.

      • Anonymous

        I dont think anyone including myself is saying he is wrong.

        I personally dont think the skate park is a problem that the city (nypd) cant handle.

        As far as the ATV’s they are illegial back weeds and on the street. and in my opinion the whole matter is a waste of time because then others are going to want to have “legal” activities back there.

  • George Broadhead

    While we are exchanging pros and cons about problems in our community that exist in every community, it is my opinion that we begin with communicating with the young people–not coddle them. Thanks to the internet, I am already getting an education on a subject I know only as much about as most of the residents in our community: ATV’s. I know the tire treads are destructive to the environment and driving them on any street is illegal. The accidents may be attributed to an individual driving one, not the machine. The question arises, is there a solution? The latest figures I was able to find indicate there are over 143,000 registered ATV owners in New York, and an estimated half a million who don’t bother to register. While the State has raised over $17 million from the fees, none of the money has been put towards building any ATV routes in New York. The trails for ATV’s are usually located on private land where there is a charge for using the trails. Once again, this is not much different from skiing. Should we leave everything to the police and the city? The police are doing a fine job locally, but it would be far better if parents, residents and the youth of the community could speak to the problems. The more I learn about the dirt bikes, the more I can understand the frustration of those who find pleasure in them. That doesn’t mean I agree with them, but having some of them step into a community meeting to address the issue is a giant step, and deserves our attention.

  • Atilla the Hun

    The Paintballers and Dirtbikers can fight it out and the winner can claim the backweeds as thiers.

  • atv rider

    I lived down here my hole life and there has always been dirt bikes and quads backweeds. What about when there was no railings and everyone would drive thier cars back onto the beach and hang out all day and drink beers. To all the cry babies and to those who say move to where they are legal I say to you why dont you move it has been this way for over 30 years

    • K

      Very true. I remember my father driving me through there and the dirtbikes as long as I can remember. But I think kids then had more of a respect for authority and really kept the riding in the fields NOT 80 mph on the Avenue that’s why it didn’t cause such a disturbance as it has been in recent years. It’s the kids that want to show off and have a GROWING lack of respect for everyone that ruin it for others. They just ask for trouble and they think it’s cool to be reckless, disrespectful idiots.

      • atv rider

        yes i agree with the riding on the streets it is wrong and dangerous. but we do have to ride on the streets to get back there and the faster we go the less time we are out in the open to get caught by the cops

        • K

          Yeah but faster means louder and more disturbance to everyone that lives around there. I could see how people would call the cops. I mean who wants to hear that by their house? When people ride like maniacs in the street that what causes the problem.

        • Anonymous

          You could walk them. Oh, but I bet that wouldn’t be as cool as going fast down the middle of the Avenue or going fast and popping wheelies.

    • Anonymous

      and that’s why there are now locks trying to prevent the destruction of the playing fields and garbage in the fields. These “kids” or young adults and their parents should have known the law and not bothered spending the money on things they new were illegal. The kids at the meeting were disrepctful and argumentative with the Police Officers saying they will do whatever they want anyway. So what’s the point of talking to them?

  • Anonymous

    Well, if these guys want any kind of respect or help they should start monitoring themselves and what they do. There was one ATV Saturday playing chickie with the people driving the mowers trying to fill in the tire tracks and almost hit one of them. They were also driving around the community service workers. Won’t be surprised to see them doing some community service some place.

  • pissed off

    just legalize dirtbikes and quads i have one i never used it in 2 years it sucks big time. what is back there a snake???????f-ing legalize it

  • anonymous

    wasn’t the GBPO looking into something for the bikers and paintball guys ? What ever happen to that ?

  • Mike

    Right, lets make something for them because what the hell, there is just so much money in the neighborhood, not too mention all the people who are so willing to donate their time to help.
    HA! Thats what i wanna do, make something for the guys on the quads, the same guys who buzz down my street and could not care less who is crossing or walking.
    Maybe a nice big puddle of oil for them to try and drive across, or a ramp that leads right out into the water?