2019-03-13 / Front Page

Recent Efforts To Eliminate Prostitution On 40th Road In Flushing

Council Member Peter Koo joined the Flushing Business Improvement District, the 109th Police Precinct, and Chair of the Public Safety Committee, Council Member Donovan Richards to discuss recent efforts to eliminate prostitution on 40th Road in Flushing.Council Member Peter Koo joined the Flushing Business Improvement District, the 109th Police Precinct, and Chair of the Public Safety Committee, Council Member Donovan Richards to discuss recent efforts to eliminate prostitution on 40th Road in Flushing.Council Member Peter Koo joined the Flushing Business Improvement District, the 109th Police Precinct, and Chair of the Public Safety Committee, Council Member Donovan Richards on March 8th to discuss recent efforts to eliminate prostitution on 40th Road in Flushing.

40th Road is a one-tenth-mile stretch of street in the heart of downtown Flushing with nearly two dozen restaurants, the entrance to the LIRR, and a public playground. Once referred to as “Restaurant Row,” in recent years it has turned into a red light district where dozens of young women aggressively solicit sex from people walking down the street 24/7, often even venturing into the playground.

In collaboration with the 109th Precinct, the BID and Koo’s office have worked to expose, identify and shut down several brothels posing as massage parlors on 40th Road. In addition, Koo has spoken directly with several landlords on the block to demand that they evict tenants who engage in illegal activity. As a result, most of the fake massage parlors have now either been padlocked by the NYPD or had their locks changed by landlords.  

Council Member Koo stated, “We have made significant progress in cleaning up 40th Road, thanks to a combination of police enforcement, community engagement, and even media exposure. For too long, this pervasive issue has plagued our community, but we are here to say that ends today. In the past, crackdowns resulted in the problem going away for a little while, only to resurface again. This will take consistent enforcement, and my office plans to stay engaged on this matter with police, business owners, landlords and the community.”

Koo is currently planning a sex trafficking seminar with the NYPD, local women’s shelters, and non-profits in order to educate the community about sex trafficking. It will take place in Flushing in the coming weeks.

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