By Daniel Katzive
Gale Brewer, New York City Council Member for District 6, toured 72nd Street between Columbus and Amsterdam with Department of Sanitation Manhattan Borough Chief James Leavy and other DSNY officials on Tuesday.
The walk-through comes three months after Brewer met with Sanitation officials on this block to discuss community quality-of-life concerns around sanitation and rats, according to Eddie Amador, Director of Communications for Brewer’s office. Brewer noted significant improvement in today’s walk-through, with just a few areas of concern noted on the north side of the block.
Chief Leavy indicated trash had been accumulating on the sides of the sheds, interfering with drainage. DSNY teams with shovels had done a targeted cleanup and then outreach teams had met with local businesses to reinforce the need to keep these areas clean. He noted his officers had had more success with outreach to local businesses than with summonses.
Chief Leavy said that summonses do remain an important tool in dealing with illegally parked cars which interfere with the ability of sweepers to access the curb. He noted that there have also been issues with improperly used parking placards in this area which DSNY officers have had to address.
While significant improvement was noted by the officials this morning, a few remaining problem areas were noted on the north side of the street. Officials on the walk-through spoke with restaurant staff in one location and a walk back through that area a short time later showed the issue had been remediated.
Deputy Chief Mohammad Aburmeileh noted that business owners are responsible for keeping the street clean out to the limits of their sheds, but sometimes claim staff shortages hinder their capacity to comply and need reminders of this requirement.
Going forward, Council Member Brewer indicated her office would be continuing to research problem areas in the district in order to bring them to the attention of sanitation officials. She noted particular concerns about major cross streets such as 72nd, 86th and 96th Streets.
If you want to report a problem area, call 311 first and get a service request number. Then, call Gale’s office (212-873-0282) and give them the number. Don’t forget to get a number!