Fed up with the situation, last summer Lynn Kennedy started Friends of Astoria Heights Park, a group aiming to improve and renovate the park.
The park features a playground, benches and basketball and tennis courts, but because the gates do not lock, many people loiter there at night.
“It’s surprising that we see a lot of the parks that have gates,” Kennedy said. “I was realizing I didn’t want to come to my own park. We’re looking after the garbage somewhat more than we’re enjoying the park.”
The group is also calling for stop signs at 45th and 46th streets and a speed bump.
“There’s a presence of kids in this neighborhood,” Kennedy said. “There should be safety.”
About a dozen parents in the group have met with Community Board 1, the Parks Department, Borough President Melinda Katz, Councilman Costa Constantinides and the 114th Precinct about the situation.
Kennedy said the police at the 114th Precinct have been extremely helpful, were aware of the issue, and have made some recent arrests.
She recently attended a borough budget hearing and asked for $1.2 million to make renovations at the park.
“Hopefully, all of the bodies come together and approve those funds,” Kennedy said.