NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – There’s a mattress mystery in Queens. Brand new beds have been piled up along the street, becoming a safety risk, an eyesore, and no amount of summonses from the city seem to matter.

The mattresses are piled on block after block on Roosevelt Avenue. At least five different furniture stores – all participating in the odd practice – are leaving their products piled on the curb.

“It’s looking like a mess,” Frank Chaglia of Jackson Heights said.

“I was crossing the street and it was hard for me to see the car coming,” Camilla Wilentynowicz added.

“Kids are running up and down all the time. It’s an accident waiting to happen,” Connie Gallegos warned.

Furniture piled up on sidewalks in Jackson Heights. (Credit: CBS2)

It’s not just mattresses. CBS2’s Ali Bauman found TV stands, dressers, and even kitchen tables and chairs.

“A lot of the residents have been complaining about these mattresses,” Bauman told one of the store’s employees.

“We will take care of it, we’ll take care of it,” a worker replied.

“We’ll take care of it no problem,” another shop employee said.

“I’m having lunch right now I cannot talk to you,” one store owner added.

Workers claimed the items were put outside for delivery and that they were scheduled to be delivery that same day.

“It’s not like storage, it’s a street and everyone should be able to walk not afraid something’s going to fall on you,” Camilla Wilentynowicz said.

Some residents told CBS2 they’ve been reporting this to 311 over and over again for more than a year, but the businesses just keep putting out more mattresses.

Finally, Big Boss Furniture on 93rd Street agreed to answer some of Bauman’s questions.

“There’s just not enough storage space… It’s a busy area. A lot of people buy furniture,” the Big Boss Furniture employee explained.

The sanitation department says it’s issued at least 13 summonses for sidewalk obstruction in the area over the past six months.

Furniture piled up by stores in Jackson Heights. (Credit: CBS2)

One business owner admitted he gets them daily.

“We are breaking the law. We acknowledge that, but at the moment there’s no solution for it,” the Big Boss worker added.

The fines for sidewalk obstruction can range from $100 to $300 for each offense.

  1. I wonder if the fines would be higher or lower if these businesses left the stuff in the street rather than on the sidewalk. I don’t know this neighborhood, but in some places, moving sidewalk-obstructing stuff into the roadway would be the more ethical thing to do. I wonder how it would work in this case for all concerned.

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