By Sabina Mollot
City Council Members and Dan Garodnick and Rosie Mendez are hoping to shed a little light on the subject of resident safety in Kips Bay.
The plan is to have new lighting installed on the streets around the Bellevue shelter on East 30th Street and First Avenue. Additional lighting is also planned for a nearby playground, Bellevue South and possibly other playgrounds.
The project is in response to concerns by neighbors of the shelter, who, as Town & Village reported last week, feel that the city-run facility’s 850 residents have gotten out of control with aggressive panhandling, loitering, fighting, public urination and sometimes worse.
On a recent evening Garodnick and Mendez took a stroll through the neighborhood along with employees of the Department of Transportation’s lighting division to see which streets could use more visibility.
Though Garodnick said all the exact locations have not yet been determined, the block of the shelter, from 29th to 30th Streets along First Avenue, will be included as will 30th Street between First and Second Avenues. The manager of the residential building located there has said men have used that block as a toilet and the ledge of the adjoining garage wall as a bed.
“We are exploring funding those initiatives as soon as this month in the city budget which we are about to pass,” said Garodnick.
He added that he doesn’t know yet what the project will cost since it hasn’t yet been determined if the lighting will be standard DOT issue or a “less ordinary solution.”
Another safety improvement planned is to cut back any overgrown trees along 30th Street between First and Second Avenues which have been impeding light.