First Ave. parking spots moved for Citibike station

On Monday, drivers were given no clue as to why a “No Standing” sign went up outside of Stuyvesant Town. (Photo taken by a T&V reader)

On Monday, drivers were given no clue as to why a “No Standing” sign went up outside of Stuyvesant Town. (Photo taken by a T&V reader)

By Sabina Mollot

On Monday, the Department of Transportation quietly relocated parking spots that had been on the service road on First Avenue outside Stuyvesant Town to across the street. The reason for the work, apparently, was to accommodate a Citibike station that is also being moved.

Town & Village learned about the project after being contacted by two irate readers, both of whom live in Stuy Town and were annoyed to discover, upon coming home that parking spaces that had always been on the service road on First Avenue near the Gracefully shop were gone. In their place was a new “No Standing” sign.

As one reader, Laurence Watson, observed, “Spots that have been there 25 years are now gone without notice. One guy came home Saturday and had a ticket Sunday morning! It was an available spot on Friday.”

A spokesperson for the Department of Transportation didn’t respond to a request for an explanation by press time, but Council Member Dan Garodnick had better luck in getting answers from the DOT after T&V informed him of the issue.

Garodnick, who was told that the spaces were not removed but relocated to make way for the Citibikes, said that there was a reason for the sudden switch in locations. Apparently, in the bikes’ old spot, a Con Ed steam pipe that was located underneath the ground was sending condensation upwards that was destroying the shared bikes. While the work is underway a “No Standing” sign was installed.

It was on Wednesday afternoon when workers moved the Citibike station.

Garodnick added that there had not been any community notice prior to the project.

Man tries to lure girl at school fair

By Sabina Mollot
A man attempted to lure a girl at a street fair that was held by the Jack and Jill School two Saturdays ago, Town & Village has learned.

According to a spokesperson for the NYPD’s Deputy Commissioner of Public Information, an unknown man approached a six-year-old girl at the event, and asked where her dad was. He then told her she should go with him because he was her uncle, police said.

The school event was held on a public street.

The school event was held on a public street.

Mary Carroll French, the director at the school, told Town & Village that while she wasn’t a witness to the incident, she heard after the fact how a man had approached a former student who was at the event and spoke to her.

“It was what the NYPD would call attempted luring,” said Carroll French. But, she added, the girl didn’t respond to him. Additionally, the girl’s father was nearby as was another father and a sexton at the school.

“The sexton had his eye on him and was watching him,” she said. The sexton, then realizing the man was a stranger, shooed the man away and he left with his bike, although Carroll French said she didn’t know if he was riding it.

She noted that since the fair was held on a public street, East 16th Street between Rutherford Place and Third Avenue, anyone could walk through. The event was held from noon to 4 p.m. and Carroll French said she believed the man strode through later in the event. She added that parents at the school, which is for kids ages 2-5, have been alerted.

Police described the man as being black or Hispanic, approximately 6 ft. 1 in. and has curly or wavy hair.

The man’s actions were also mentioned in an email blast to neighbors from the Gramercy Park Block Association this past Tuesday. The email quotes a brief letter sent to parents from another local school that referred to the incident as an attempted kidnapping.

Last weekend, when another local school had a street fair, a couple of police officers were stationed nearby and this time there were no incidents, police said.