HOUSING, STREET SAFETY, ANIMAL RIGHTS AND MORE DISCUSSED AT UWS TOWN HALL ON MONDAY

l rosenthal
Linda Rosenthal at Monday’s Town Hall meeting.

By Evelyn Levine

Linda Rosenthal and Scott Stringer addressed community concerns at a Town Hall meeting on Monday, at the Lincoln Square Neighborhood Center. We’ve divided them below into the various topics discussed.

Housing

A number of UWS residents registered concerns that developers in the area, who are receiving 421A benefits, are not fulfilling their obligations to provide some affordable housing and not registering the apartments, as obligated. Assembly Member, Linda Rosenthal, says she is seeking legislation, and harsher penalties, and that she recognizes there is now a “feeding frenzy for UWS developers” due to these benefits.

Another person questioned the naming rights of cultural institutions and suggested that names such as “Trump Towers” and “The David H Koch Theatre ” in Lincoln Center do not reflect the values of the community. Assembly member Linda Rosenthal said she will look into the relevant regulations and time limits on naming rights.

A resident of the Amsterdam Houses says she has been hearing rumors of Mitchell-Lama buildings using loopholes to harass and evict tenants; and asked “what is being done to preserve affordable housing on the UWS ?” Linda Rosenthal stated that “I hear of people facing eviction every single day in my office” and is working on this issue.

Another resident of the Amsterdam Houses said her elderly neighbor “cannot go out in the evening since she is terrified of the scaffolding, which seems to be unnecessary, anyway, since no work is even being done.” Linda Rosenthal said the scaffolding was put up too early but that work will soon commence.

Another NYCHA resident requested dumpsters in front of the buildings to keep them cleaner.

Streets/Parks

One person said “I have recently been diagnosed with back problems, and I cannot keep my posture erect as the sidewalks have become slanted.” Linda Rosenthal says that the city streets are in need of better upkeep and some need to be re-done.

One person questioned why one area of Riverside Park seems to be closed off for private use.

Animal Rights

One dog lover insisted that she tried to adopt a dog from a shelter, and never got a response. The dog was later sent to a rescue through the DOH and suffered a painful death. After sending in complaints, she has been harassed by DOH to the point of someone entering her apartment by force because of a “bad smell.” City Comptroller, Scott Stringer, agreed that DOH is not concerned enough with animal safety, and should “get out of that business” and said that he is also investigating the Animal Care and Control agency.

One person asked “how can we move the needle” and advocate for more animal shelters – currently there are only 3 for the 5 boroughs. Scott Stringer said he is looking into a public-private initiative.

Traffic/Noise

stringerThe recent traffic deaths were mentioned by Scott Stringer (pictured at left), who still insists that recent data he has seen suggests that “Vision Zero” (the recent NYC mission to end traffic injuries and deaths) is working; but he thinks the other agencies such as MTA and DOT needs do more to assist in maintaining safe streets.

One woman mentioned the entrance to Lincoln Center parking, where cars are routinely running lights, and is worried that “someone will eventually be killed.”

One woman requested signage regarding the NYC law of no turning on red lights, claiming out-of-towners do not know anything about this.

A resident of 303 West 66 Street says his corner needs a bus shelter since it is a very windy and cold and many seniors wait there.

According to someone who witnessed a recent accident there: West 64th and WEA, the lights are not bright enough (especially at dusk) which creates a blind spot for cars at that corner.

One person mentioned how glass buildings reflect the sunlight too harshly and that birds are killed by this type of construction.

One person complained of “incessant sirens going off at 2 a.m. – when there is no traffic – to and from Roosevelt Hospital.

Bicycling

One woman said she opened her door one morning and was shocked to find 25 bicycles parked there. She said “NYC needs every inch of its parking space and that this is too much”

Linda Rosenthal said she is looking into ways that the community can have more input, and more notice time, for any new bike lanes.

Accessibility

One resident claims she has been advocating for local restaurants to become more wheel-chair accessible and abide by ADA guidelines, and “has called the Assembly member’s Office many times” about one particular local restaurant, and was finally told the restaurant in question has obtained a grandfathered landmark designation. Linda Rosenthal said she will look into this matter.

Photos by Evelyn Levine.

NEWS | 26 comments | permalink
    1. bill says:

      scott stringer & linda Rosenthal….the blind leading the blind

      • S. Louie says:

        The blind, ignorant and stupid…commenting on complex things they don’t comprehend. Thank goodness we have linda and scott who have been voted in because they are pro-active local politicians.

        What have you done to help people in this city?

    2. Nycatfan says:

      The Citi Bike deposit on 76th between Columbus and Amsterdam is terrible. It has taken 10 parking spots and there is never a bike there. There is a school right there and it is now impossible for parents to pick up and drop off their kids without danger. Get rid of it or move it to 81st where it was supposed to be.

    3. Steven says:

      What, no questions about the Trilateral Commission or water fluoridation?

    4. Sherman says:

      421-A benefits are a disgrace. They were enacted in 1971 when the city was in the toilet and nobody wanted to build here. Essentially, 421-A was a tax incentive for developers to build anything.

      This is clearly not the case today. Unfortunately, wealthy developers get massive tax breaks when they put in a token number of “affordable” apartments in their luxury buildings. This is not an efficient or cost effective way to build affordable housing.

      Developers love 421-A as they make a fortune off of it. Residents of NYC get short changed desperately needed tax revenue.

      If Linda Rosenthal or Scott Stringer had any brains they would focus on ending 421-A instead of regulating it.

    5. Erica says:

      I agree about signs warning that there is no right turn on red. I’ve had several cars turn right in front of me as I begin to cross, and I think it really is because they don’t know that the rules are different here.

      • jd says:

        That’s true. Right on red is common in most areas of the country. But not in NYC. There aren’t many signs posted throughout the city notifying motorists of this.

      • ctp says:

        The only one I know of is right as you exit the Lincoln Tunnel, it is covered in soot and to the right side of the tunnel. I have looked and never seen another anywhere. I have to tell people all the time “no right on red”, and they get mad at me.

    6. Demographics says:

      Her office may selectively help out, had problems getting things answered and left unresolved.
      Long time ago that office was a hotbed of information, pro-active activity for all kinds of people.
      I realize times have changed and the Real Estate lobby has long arms.

    7. Glen says:

      I am not so much concerned about the Citibike parking as I am the adult bike riders on the sidewalk. Goading the police into issuing a few summonses would help out. West End Avenue regularly has adults riding up and down the sidewalks on bikes…and the occasional deliveryman with the motorized bike as well.

    8. ScooterStan says:

      Re: “One woman mentioned the entrance to Lincoln Center parking, where cars are routinely running lights, and is worried that “someone will eventually be killed.””

      Obviously those drivers are NEITHER locals NOR Manhattanites, as locals walk to L.C. and those from other parts of Manahatta use public transportation (cf. the post-performance crowds boarding the east-bound M-66 Crosstown ON W. 65th).

      Thus, obviously, some of them are probably “Outer-Borough” types, who, because they are still NY’ers, deserve our respect.

      However, the rest are ‘slob’urbanites accustomed to spending their lives isolated in their steel-cocoons trying to beat out all other drivers just to prove their ‘chops’.

      They need to be publicly shamed, perhaps by large illuminated signs reading “Slow Down! You’re Not in Your Pathetic Little Neighborhood Anymore!”

    9. Bill says:

      I asked the qestion on animal rights, as to what can individuals and groups do to improve things, given that the city is doing nothing? Stringer / Rosenthal gave an impassioned response, bur did not answer my question.

    10. Nina says:

      They understand. The problem with almost everything that comes up is that there is a lack of enforcement by or accountability of the operating agencies — i.e., the “executive branch.” There is too much clamor for new legislation/regulation and not enough follow through on what is already in place. Police, sanitation, transportation, housing, DOH, etc. need to be “forced” to enforce and perform. That’s the Mayor’s job.

    11. UWS resident says:

      The complaint about the name of the Koch Theater is ignorant of the way philanthropy works…institutions like Lincoln Center can’t afford to turn down a substantial naming gift because of someone’s political affiliation or reputation. If Lincoln Center were to turn down such a gift, it would be making a political statement by doing so, which is not in the best interest for a not-for-profit arts organization as it would isolate itself from half of its potential donor pool and ticket buyers. Like Koch or not, at least he is supporting the arts in our city and helping our leading performing arts center to thrive. Anyway, the naming rights for that theater expire after 50 years, so eventually someone else will have the opportunity to rename it.

      • Nancy says:

        Thank you for this reasonable and accurate response about naming rights. Hopefully the next generation will include people of such generosity as the Koch family-time will tell.

      • UWSsurfer says:

        No, we aren’t ignorant about how “philanthropy” works.

        Koch donations = Blood Money.

        The Koch brothers buy elections and try to buy
        goodwill through arts donations.

        It’s just a tax write-off to them.

    12. Ellen Frankel says:

      Puhleeze. Let’s not forget that we are trying to REDUCE the use of automobiles in Manhattan and Citibikes are part of that plan. Citibikes are not parked in their stands because they are in use all over the city! Hooray! We want more of them…..Fewer cars will bring fewer deaths on our streets!

      • Lisa says:

        Although bikes do replace cars in cities with traditions of car use and little mass transit, it is my understanding that in NYC, bike users are former mass transit users, not former car users.

    13. Natalie Helms says:

      Thank you for discussing animal rights. We definitely need more shelters and better treatment of animals in shelters.

    14. Dresden says:

      Those of us who are Pit bull victims, do not want more ‘animal shelters’ (aka Pit bull pushers)
      putting more Pits out here killing & maiming our dogs.

      Scott Stringer told me that he’d do something to keep us safe from Pit bull types, but lets at least be sure that
      ‘The Projects’ (Pit bull types are banned there)
      honor that ban. Also be sure that the Police are protecting us from Pit bull types,
      AND from Pit bull owners who harass us when we tell them to keep their Pits away from us.

      • alita says:

        Dresden, you’ll be happy to know that the acc screens every dog very stringently for behavioral issues before they are put up for adoption.
        Moreover- and more likely than not, dogs who otherwise are very friendly (many of them NOT pit bulls, while many are) often fail these behavior tests secondary to shelter-induced stress.
        And mostly all of these dogs -thousands of them every year- are killed (“euthanized”) at the acc because of it, in order to appease hysterical people -like you- who don’t understand the ramifications of breed stereotypes and what behavior of non- agressive, friendly dogs in extremely stressful situations mean.
        So, are you are happy now?
        Furthermore, I’m curious as to how having shelters in Queens and the Bronx would change any of this process. Because it sure wouldn’t.

        Good day.

      • UWSsurfer says:

        “Pitbull Pushers?”

        What’s your damage?

        All of my beloved animal companions have come from shelters.

        • Elizabeth M. says:

          Let me say that that my two previous and my current dog are rescues. I always urge people not to shop but adopt. But Dresden is correct.
          I see more and more pit bulls on the street and the vast majority are aggressive. I have a thirty pound Beagle and many times I feel my dog is in danger. You come around a corner and here comes a pit, snarling & lunging at my dog, ready to bite. For no reason other than that is what they were bred for, fighting other dogs. Just a few days ago a nine year old girl was killed by a pitbull that was supposedly such a nice, sweet dog. And because of the power of their locking jaws they cause more damage or even death. Have you ever seen two pit bulls try to kill a dog for no reason?
          I did, in the dog run. One went for her jugular and the other one tried to disembowel her. All she was doing was lying down in front of me, minding her own business. And the owners did little to stop it. They were afraid of their own dogs. Finally a group was able to get them off and the owners beat a hasty retreat. Didn’t care if their victim died. That is the common response, just run off. And the shelters do try to get people to adopt them. People who have no idea how to handle an
          aggressive breed. It’s in the bloodlines. Just like retrievers want to play ball, retrieving it over and over. Like a sheepdog herding little kids, or a Beagle with it’s nose to the ground following a scent. There are exceptions. But you have to be very careful and have a strong personality to dominate the dog or it dominates you. And most owners have no remorse and don’t give a damn what happens to their victims. Oh no, my dog is sweet and has never done this before. And move on to the next dog, not doing anything differently. I keep my dog away,but some people insist on approaching us even when I make it clear that I am not interested. This happens more and more and it is a dangerous situation. Just ask the mother of the nine year old girl killed this week.

    15. Diane Crecca says:

      And as much as I have been complaining to 311, & Linda Rosenthal- NO RESPONSE to the continuing rat problem on West End Avenue. The rats are winning the race on the West Side. It is filthy, scary and disgusting. Nobody cares? I am open to anyone who can suggest a way to get the attention of our politicians. Please help!