By Bridget Belfiore
Jamaica residents are fed up with ice trucks. And they’re giving the cold shoulder to Mr. Softee’s familiar tune.
At least according to 311 complaint information compiled by the New York City database Localize.city.
Roughly 1,279 complaints were filed throughout New York City between August 2017 and August 2018. The region around Captain Tilly Park in Jamaica had the highest number of complaints. Localize.city reported that residents around Captain Tilly Park — along with “clusters” around Highland Avenue and Ava Place and 170th Street near 89th and 90th Avenues — filed ice-cream truck song complaints with 311 on 61 days over the past year.
“The area might be along a route for many of the ice cream trucks,” the website speculated. “There’s a Mister Softee depot in Jamaica about a 12-minute drive away.”
The number of 311 complaints in Jamaica increased by 200 percent from the same period last year, the site reported.
“It’s apparent that ice cream trucks know their audience and are targeting parks and playgrounds — but families might not be totally cool about that,” said Localize.city data analyst David Slutsky.
The ice cream franchise has also left a bitter taste in the mouths of residents around Flatiron/Union Square, which includes Union Square Park and Madison Square Park; Kingsbridge, around Bailey Playground, Fort Independence Playground and Van Cortlandt Park; Sunset Park, around Rainbow Playground, Brizzi Playground and Sunset Park; and Elmhurst/Corona, around Newtown Playground.
Despite the complaints, there was an overall 20 percent decrease in ice cream-truck related 311 calls compared to the same time period one year earlier. That may relate to New York City ice cream truck regulations.
The city ban trucks from playing music while stopped and they are forbidden to loiter for more than three minutes at a location.