Rarely have I seen so much garbage strewn about than at the corner of Hertel and Delaware. It was so bad in fact that I hopped off my bike and began to look around to see what could be done. Stuff was everywhere – Tim Hortons and Dunkin’ Donuts coffee cups, McDonald’s and Burger King bags and soda cups, Mighty Taco wrappers… you name the business found anywhere near that intersection and it was represented. Unfortunately, ever since the North Park Branch Library closed, the park fronting the building has fallen into the hands of litterbugs. It doesn’t help that there is a bus stop at the corner, just across the street from Burger King.
It took me about 20 minutes to clean the park, and though it wasn’t spotless it was a big improvement. I began by throwing garbage into the big blue garbage can located ten feet from the bus stop bench – how lazy can people get? Then I happened upon a box (Dunkin’ Donuts of course) and took that around the park filling it up. It eventually overfilled so I threw more litter directly into the blue can. There was some hard-to-get junk under the bushes – I think that there might be someone actually living in the brush as I found his or her hidden spoon and discarded cans of food.
You would think that one of the neighboring stores would adopt this park, since all of the garbage is generated from their places of business. For example, in exchange for sending an employee over to the park to clean up once a week (say ten minutes), Burger King would be allowed to fly a flag on the tall flagless pole that sits right in the middle of the lawn. That’s big marketing bucks! Or maybe the NFTA would want to adopt the park since so much junk is left behind by bus riders. Regardless, until the branch library is occupied once more, some group needs to figure out what to do about the ridiculous amount of garbage that acts as a welcome mat for people visiting Hertel Avenue.
*By the way, I biked down both sides of Hertel and the street looked spotless (from Delaware to Main Street) except for this corner. Maybe the businesses on Elmwood that stretch from Utica to Bryant could learn a lesson or two regarding how to clean up in front of a business.