Three cheers for snow removal plan
I was extremely pleased to see the article on Manhattan Borough President Gail Brewer’s attention to the issue of snow removal (T&V, January 2). Those of us who live in ST/PCV can usually expect a coordinated and well-executed snow removal plan for the interiors and perimeters of the properties. But people have jobs, appointments, etc. that take them to neighborhoods all over the city regardless of the weather, and non-compliant property owners create a hazard for all of us.
Many property owners seem to have the attitude that if Mother Nature dropped the snow, let her take care of getting rid of it. Others rely on pedestrian foot traffic to create a path and still others, who opt to leave storefronts vacant, seem to think they have no obligation to remove snow from in front of a property that is not producing income.
While the winter thus far has been snow-free, the potential for dangerous conditions still lies ahead and there are proactive measures property owners can take in advance of a snowstorm. The most obvious is to put snow-melt down at the very first dusting of snow to reduce the freezing risk and make removal easier later on. But beyond that, the city needs to modify the rules and the fines associated with this issue. A review of the online requirements reveals a time-allowance schedule that could legally leave sidewalks uncleared during normal AM and PM rush hours and a fine, even at the highest rate of $350, might well be considered the cost of doing business by many property owners.
In July 2019, New York City was rated the #1 most walkable city by SmarterTravel.com. We should be able to boast this rating regardless of the season or the weather. So, my thanks to BP Brewer for addressing the issue and a hope that a more thorough review will result in more pedestrian friendly rules and steeper fines.
Where’s the heat?
As a lifetime resident of Stuyvesant Town, there was a time that the heat flowed perfectly in the winter. It was a time, before, our current windows, which do not seal properly because of holes drilled in the windows after installation, the result of an implosion defect. The heating system hasn’t changed since the 1950s, so why are some apartments overheated and others unheated? When Met Life owned the property, we had proper heating. The plumbing has remained unchanged, so what gives?
A lot depends on the apartment exposure. If you have a southern exposure, the apartment will be much warmer than if you have a north or west exposure. And if one is lucky enough to have cross ventilation, e.g., two of your bedroom walls are “outside walls” (quite nice in spring and autumn), the apartment will be very cold in the winter.
Today, January 11, the temperature in my apartment is lower than the temperature outside. At times, this winter, I have had to wear several layers of clothing and a wool hat in an attempt to stay “lukewarm” in a bitter cold, drafty apartment (see first paragraph). Is the only solution, a portable (potentially hazardous) heater?
Michele and Ed Masucci
Busway good for small biz
The following is a comment left on our website by Brian Van Nieuwenhoven on a post about the 14th Street Busway.
Small business operations were a great concern regarding the busway. I can’t speak for others, but I needed an answer regarding deliveries and customer flows before the busway would appear to be an acceptable solution.
Deliveries are very, very well addressed by the policies allowing for commercial traffic on the busway; the only concerns expressed were for minor inconveniences costing seconds, not hours, for deliveries that are coming in from South Jersey/Long Island/Westchester so basically immaterial impacts.
Regarding customer flows, you now have thousands more of them. The understanding has always been that some dozens of people who are accustomed to shopping on 14th Street would be affected by the changes but they have other options for car-oriented shopping and 14th Street just got 5,000 more daily customers via bus upgrades, so customer-minded shop owners should have zero interest in going back to things the way they were.
The role of community board members is to evaluate policy as it would impact the whole community, and the number one complaint I hear about how I do my job is that I approved a change that a very small group of people in the area did not like (even if the change helped out 100,000 people in a measurable way). Do not hesitate to continue airing this out. It’s a free country.