Ramadan Celebration in New Rochelle Turns Davenport Neck into Parking Lot

Written By: Robert Cox

NEW ROCHELLE, NY — Hundreds of cars unexpectefly descended on Davenport Neck Sunday morning causing traffic gridlock that left residents and beach club members and guests stranded. Police and city officials received many angry telephone calls from area residents, beach clubs and their members. The primary culprit, overflow crowds for an Eid al-fitr celebration at the V.I.P. Club.

“I received 47 phone calls,” said City Council Member Albert Tarantino.”I saw cars backed up on Church to Pelham Road all the way back to Centre Avenue.”

“This cannot happen again,” continued Tarantino. “We must use every meams necessary to control the catering operations at these beach clubs.”

The City has conducted a preliminary investigatiom.

Here is the official report, from City Manager Charles B. Strome, on traffic chaos which occurred on Davenport Neck on Sunday:

At 9:24 AM police headquarters received numerous complaints from citizens of gridlock traffic congestion in the vicinity of Pelham Road and Church Street as well as the length of Davenport Avenue, from Rodman Oval to the western terminus at the Beckwithe point entrance.

Police patrol units responded and observed that the entire roadway in the aforementioned area was blocked in all directions. Further investigation revealed that the cause of the congestion was due to a large number of people attending a religious service at the V.I.P. Club, in celebration of Ramadan. In addition to a large volume of vehicles entering the aforementioned streets, numerous unattended  vehicles had been parked in the middle of the roadway between 600-635 Davenport Ave. These illegally parked vehicles prevented traffic from turning around and also blocked the entrance and egress to Beckwithe Point.

Traffic posts were established at key intersections and traffic was directed out of the affected area. Two vehicles that had blocked the roadway were towed and impounded and 18 parking summonses were issued. There was a brief interruption of traffic (including local traffic) from entering the area during the process of removing the offending vehicles. The condition was eventually corrected and the normal traffic pattern was restored.

An investigation with regard to this incident was also conducted by New Rochelle Fire Department who advised that they made contact with V.I.P.’s  Club chief operating officer who advised that they expected 500 people at the event but many more attended.  NRFD Captain Sandor stated that he did not observe any violations at the time of his inspection.

The City’s Building Department will be following up with the VIP Club today and if appropriate, violations will be issued.