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!
Every time I hear that restaurant employees (and more importantly, managers) have to be alerted to a sanitation/appearance/safety/etc. issue DIRECTLY in front of their door, I shudder at the thought what they need to be alerted to when it comes to the kitchen/dishes.
I’m not one to praise local politicians, but I know for a fact that Gale was instrumental in removing that monstrosity of an encampment that was on the corner or Amsterdam and 72nd for months. I cant figure out why that block just remains unsightly, but I would encourage as much cleanup as possible. As much as I enjoy Grays Papaya, I can’t help but think it’s a major part of the problem.
The major part of the problem — in fact, the entire problem – is that UWSers give people in these encampments money. Don’t do that. Give money to organizations that help the mentally ill. That’s what Gale does. I used to give street people money until I found out the woman I was funding had her own apartment (provided by Breaking Ground) in the Bronx.
I’m late to this but have to echo Lisa — as a 72nd St. resident, it’s really frustrating to see UWSers handing cash to people who are camped out for weeks or months on the 72nd St. sidewalks.
I really encourage people to instead donate their spare dollars to the council house on 72nd — it does phenomenal work all year long helping the needy with food, clothing, school supplies, etc.
P.S. The Gray’s Papaya corner has improved quite a bit since the sidewalk shed came down fairly recently. Fingers crossed the sheds above Capital One and Trader Joe’s also come down soon.
Just shocking that almost no one building restaurant sheds considered drainage beneath those structures and ran the plywood walls down to the asphalt. Oh, wait, that flaw was obvious.
Businesses and buildings are responsible for keeping the sidewalk and past the curb clean of debris.
We own a small brownstone and I sweep everyday, even when I didn’t work at home.
It’s nice to have a trash free(ish) street. Also, since putting our trash in a can for the garbage men, it’s cut down on rats a lot! Putting a bag of trash on the street is an invitation for a dinner party! The G men probably don’t like lifting bags out of “cans” but they use cans in other boroughs so, I was told, they have to do it here. Try it, it works!
We also put our garbage out in the cans instead of leaving the black bags (aka “rat buffet”) on the curb and I think it is the single most effective way to help reduce rats (with curbside composting a close second).
Nowif we can get a sweep of the cross streets on the upper west side that would be WONDERFUL.
Staff shortages make it impossible for them to sweep the streets outside their restaurants? There are countless able-bodied people in our neighborhood who are not working and receiving government aid who should be doing these jobs. Go to one of our many shelters and round up some workers and tell them they can keep a portion of the salary, with the rest going to the government to underwrite some of their costs.
It is basic supply and demand – shouldn’t be difficult.
How about adding more trash cans to the block? In the 90’s there used to be a trash can mid-block between Columbus and Amsterdam. And given how infrequently the trash on 72nd/Columbus and 72nd/Amsterdam is picked up, let’s do as Boston does, and put two trash cans side by side so they don’t overflow. So simple. Are you listening Gale.
Not only do street sweepers fail to arrive even once a week these days, often no one even tickets. At this point, most car owners don’t bother to move their cars at all. The streets are filthy.
Why can’t sweeper vehicles be fitted with cameras to record the plate numbers of vehicles that fail to move? And why are vehicles with drivers in them not ticketed? Because “standing” isn’t “parking.” Absurd.
The entire street cleaning system is broken. The city would be cleaner — and revenue higher — with just a small amount of common sense and competence.
Hate to say this, because I am pro-labor. But streetsweepers (DSNY) are Union which means: they will reject anything that could be considered an additional responsibility, because it signals to management that the Union is willing to take on more work for the same pay. So — quite unlikely a simple common-sense change like this is gonna happen.
Hello Neighbors: This is an old story but we’ll repeat anyway. Since the Fairway takeover at 74th/Broadway, that store front curb is a dirty disgraceful eyesore. The empty pallets, broken carts, and rats galore make it impossible to cross the street or get a cab and worst of all, the stores remain unrented for blocks and blocks. Who wants to open a store next to such an eyesore? We’ve called, complained etc. Fairway #718-569-4500-they will tell you they own the curb and sidewalk. There must be a city ordinance or something making this illegal. Mayor Adams please help! The “broken windows” concept has turned our once good neighborhood into blocks of empty stores, homeless encampments and hostile panhandlers.