Auto Wrecker in Howard Beach, New York City
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Howard Beach is in the southwest part of the borough of Queens in New York City. The Belt Parkway and Conduit Avenue bound the neighborhood in Ozone Park to the north, Jamaica Bay in Broad Channel to the south, 102nd–104th Streets in South Ozone Park to the east, and 75th Street in East New York, Brooklyn to the west. Predominantly, the neighborhood features low-rise, single-family homes.
In 1897 William J. Howard, a Brooklyn glove manufacturer, established Howard Beach. He ran a 150-acre goat farm on meadow land near Aqueduct Racetrack to source skin for kid gloves. In 1897, Mr. Howard purchased additional land and filled it. By the following year, he had constructed 18 cottages and opened a hotel near the water. However, a fire destroyed the hotel in October 1907. Continually acquiring more property, Howard formed the Howard Estates Development Company in 1909. By 1914, after dredging and filling, he had amassed 500 acres. He then installed several streets, water mains, and gas mains and built 35 houses priced between $2,500 and $5,000.
The 2010 United States census reported that Howard Beach had a population of 26,148, showing a decrease of 1,973 (or 7.5%) from the 28,121 recorded in 2000. Spanning 1,471.79 acres (595.61 ha), the neighborhood’s population density was 17.8 residents per acre (11,400/sq mi; 4,400/km2). Racially, 76.8% (or 20,069 people) identified as White, 1.6% (413) as African American, 0.1% (28) as Native American, 3.5% (923) as Asian, 0% (5) as Pacific Islander, 0.2% (62) from other races, and 1% (249) from mixed races. Hispanics or Latinos of any ethnicity comprised 16.8% (or 4,399) of the residents. By 2022, half of the community identified as Italian or had Italian roots.
The NYPD’s 106th Precinct patrols Howard Beach, southern Ozone Park, and South Ozone Park. You can find the precinct at 103-53 101st Street. In 2010, the 106th precinct ranked as the 26th safest among the 69 patrol areas when comparing per-capita crime. The area’s proximity to the Belt Parkway, a significant travel route, contributes to a high rate of car thefts. As of 2018, Howard Beach and South Ozone Park had a non-fatal assault rate of 32 per 100,000 people, which is lower than the city’s average. The area’s incarceration rate, at 381 per 100,000 people, also sits below the city’s average.
Crime rates in the 106th precinct have declined since the 1990s. Crimes across all categories dropped by 81.3% from 1990 to 2018. In 2018, the precinct reported six murders, 16 rapes, 183 robberies, 246 felony assaults, 133 burglaries, 502 grand larcenies, and 97 auto grand larcenies.
Local bus services include the Q11, Q21, Q41, Q52 SBS, and Q53 SBS lines which serve the neighborhood. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority operates all these routes. Additionally, the express buses in the area include the QM15, QM16, and QM17.
The Howard Beach–JFK Airport station of the New York City Subway, part of the IND Rockaway Line (A train), used to be a Long Island Rail Road station on the Rockaway Beach Branch. Fires frequently broke out on the trestle to Broad Channel, pushing the LIRR into Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the 1950s. This situation paved the way for New York City Transit to buy the line in 1956. This station connects the A train with the Howard Beach JFK AirTrain route. Before the AirTrain JFK started operations, the Port Authority offered a complimentary shuttle bus service to the JFK Airport terminals.
Howard Beach boasts several educational institutions catering to its residents’ needs. PS 146, known as The Howard Beach School; PS 207, named The Rockwood Park School; and PS 232, called The Walter Ward School, serve the community’s elementary needs. St. Helens Catholic School, under the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn, also provides education from kindergarten through 8th grade.
In the past, before the public elementary schools transitioned to K-8 models, Howard Beach students who attended PS 207, PS 232, or PS 146 would continue their education at Junior High School 202, named Robert H. Goddard Junior High School, for grades 7–8. Conveniently situated at the northwest corner of Conduit Boulevard and Lafayette Place, a footbridge spans over Conduit Boulevard to facilitate southern Howard Beach students’ commute. Some students even attended JHS 202 in their 9th-grade year. For their high school years, students could attend their zoned school, John Adams High School in Ozone Park. Alternatively, they could enroll in specialty high schools such as Beach Channel High School in Rockaway Park or Catholic institutions like Christ the King, St. Francis Prep, Stella Maris, or Archbishop Molloy. Unfortunately, in July 2020, the community received the saddening news about the closure of Our Lady of Grace Catholic School. The Diocese took possession of the property and opted to shut down the school’s educational aspect, mainly due to financial challenges indirectly stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.
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