NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — It may still be summer, but the countdown to Christmas is on in Dyker Heights, Brooklyn.
It’s become one of the biggest and, depending on who you ask, either beloved or dreaded traditions in the city; the Dyker Heights Christmas lights have exploded over the years with spectators coming from near and far.
“It’s beautiful. It really is, it’s beautiful. Everyone enjoys it. They come from all over,” Dyker Heights resident Lucy Spata said.
“We get no benefit. There’s zero benefit,” one man said.
Many residents tell CBS2’s Andrea Grymes they don’t blame the tourists who flood their quiet neighborhood in December, but it’s led to lots of issues, including food trucks taking up space for hours.
“It’s a big problem because they keep the engines going all the time. You’ve got the exhaust. You have garbage, they produce garbage,” one man said.
In recent years, many residents have also complained about the increased traffic and noise.
Councilman Justin Brannan is hoping to change that. Wednesday, he introduced legislation banning street vendors, like ice cream trucks, from parking in the heart of the lights from roughly 10th to 13th avenues and 81st to 86th streets. The ban would be in effect from Thanksgiving Day to New Year’s Day.
“We’re trying to find a way to just give these residents a little bit of relief and to sort of enforce some respect for the area,” Brannan said.
In the middle of August, it was hard to find anyone opposed.
“Sometimes it gets out of hand with the vendors. It does. Garbage all over,” Spata said.
“There should be some boundaries,” Dyker Heights resident Dominic Cangiano said. “A lot of people do complain. I don’t have a problem with it.”
Even ice cream truck driver Erol Guney supports the ban, though he shuts down for the season in November.
“Last year, a lot of popcorn trucks came with the dirty trucks,” he said.
Grymes: “A vendor might say, ‘Hey, I have a right to make a living and park here.’ What would you say to them?”
Brannan: “I’m sure I’ll be hearing from Mr. Softee soon, but I haven’t heard from him yet.”
There’s no word yet when this bill will come up for a vote, but the councilman hopes it becomes law in time for this Christmas.