ST/PCV replacing 30 lost trees

Workers plant a tree on Friday morning in Stuyvesant Town, as part of a project to bring one tree to the property per day in June. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

Workers plant a tree on Friday morning in Stuyvesant Town, as part of a project to bring one tree to the property per day in June. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

Throughout the month of June, 30 new trees will arrive in Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village.

The “30 Trees in 30 Days” program began on the first of the month, with a new tree being planted each day.

In an official statement, StuyTown Property Services, Blackstone’s management company, said the new arrivals are replacing a significant number of trees on the property that have been lost due to old age, attrition and extreme weather conditions.

Chuck Hartsell, director of landscape and horticulture, mentioned that a major factor was the difficulties of being in an urban environment, as he passed some trees in the complex that he noted were on the decline.

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Letters to the Editor, July 16

July16 Toon Iran gray

An accelerating problem on East 23rd Street

The following is an open letter to Council Member Dan Garodnick:

Dear Dan,

On the heels of a letter to you by a resident of Stuyvesant Town, Mr. Sanderson, which was published in the Town & Village, about unsafe conditions in the service lane, I would like to bring to your attention some very dangerous conditions a little bit north, on 23rd Street.

I have been a resident of Peter Cooper Village for many years. For a long time, 23rd Street was a quiet place. Not anymore. For the past few years, it has become a major access road to the FDR Drive. During the quieter times, before and after rush hours, 23rd Street from First Avenue down to the Drive, has a become a speedway for many cars and busses. If a device checking speed limits were to be set up, many vehicles would clock in at well over the 25 mile an hour speed limit, more like 40 to 50 miles per hour.

During rush hours when the traffic is bumper to bumper, horns blaring, many drivers have taken to the service lane as a way to avoid the backup of traffic. So, now, the service lane becomes the speedway. Many drivers go through the stop sign at First Avenue and 23rd Street, and the one at Asser Levy Place. At the end of the service lane is a sign and signal for a right turn only. Not for many of these drivers who care not what a sign says. There are many, many u-turns made all day, all evening.

If someone stops in the service lane, briefly, to wait for a parking spot, these speeders start honking, and sometimes screaming at the person who has every right to stop for a minute or two.

Another infraction is cars exiting the service lane at what is the entrance, and entering at the exit. It is a collision waiting to happen.

I was at the 13th Police Precinct’s community meeting last summer to discuss these issues. After listing all the above, the only comment was  “Oh yes, children go to school over there.”

I think they should have said we really need to keep the residents of the community safe, or people are always crossing to use the gym at Asser Levy Place, or anything in the way of grasping the seriousness of the reckless driving.

I am hoping that action will be taken here, so that we do not have a pedestrian hit by a vehicle, or a very serious accident on 23rd Street.

Sincerely,

J. Greene PCV

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Local resident cries foul as tree is axed on East 20th street

A tree near 440 East 20th Street was cut down.

A tree near 440 East 20th Street was cut down.

By Sabina Mollot
Last Tuesday afternoon, a Stuyvesant Town resident walking past 440 and 430 East 20th Street said she noticed that a very tall, mature tree was in the midst of being cut down.
The resident, who asked that her name not be published, told Town & Village she’d asked a nearby Public Safety officer what was going on and was initially told that the tree was just being trimmed for safety reasons.
She was also told it had to do with the tree being in the way of a ramp for disabled residents that was going to
be built alongside the building.
The building already has a ramp but according to the officer, that one wasn’t up to code.

The stump of the tree was later removed as well.

The stump of the tree was later removed as well.

The resident added that after she stuck around a while, it became clear that the tree was actually being cut down, so she headed over to the new management office to make a complaint about what seemed like unnecessary arborcide as well as the lack of notice that a tree would be coming down.
That’s when she said she was told by a property manager that the tree was actually diseased.
She didn’t get a response as to the lack of notice though other than management tends to get overwhelmed due to all the work going on at the property at any given time.
After returning later in the day to the spot where the tree had been, the stump that had been there briefly after it was chopped was also gone.
A spokesperson for CWCapital did not respond to a request for comment on the tree.

Letters to the Editor, August 7

Aug7 Toon Cuomo

Inconsistent landscaping is being ignored

I am a resident of Stuy Town for over 30 years. While a lot of landscaping continues in Stuy Town and you write articles full of the ongoing plantings and landscaping, everyone has ignored the fact that the landscaping to the entrance of many buildings is by and large ignored.

If everyone would just get it right! The T level is the front of the building and the front entrance and exit used 90 percent of the time by the residents, where cars, delivery, moving and mail trucks pull up. The M level, which is actually the back entrance, is scary because it is too quiet and women look over their shoulder when using this entrance. Yet the landscaping focus has been on the M and not the T for a long time now.

Consistently some buildings have pretty landscaping and many others are void of any landscape and are in fact an embarrassment. Check out 1 and 3 Oval. Forever ignored, the Terrace levels which again really are the front entrances of the buildings are indeed quite ugly. Is anyone ever going to do anything about it?

Below are pictures of the 1 Stuyvesant Oval T entrance.

 

Gazala Chinwalla, ST

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Management office work almost complete, a few playgrounds get new water features

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By Sabina Mollot
Despite the beginning of July being a holiday week, things were still eventful in Stuyvesant Town, where construction has been ongoing at the site of the future management office.
Work at the new facility should be complete some time in August, CWCapital said in a newsletter emailed to tenants at the end of June. Additionally, electrical work beneath the First Avenue Loop that had closed the road for weeks is now complete and excavation has been completed for the site. The work remaining is to complete the roof, which is currently in progress.

Meanwhile, although the work has been progressing on schedule, residents who live in the four buildings affected by the construction along the Loop have had to deal with construction noise that has started in the mornings as early as 6 a.m.
A spokesperson for CWCapital said this week that the work schedule was changed due to the need to pour concrete within a certain timeframe so the project won’t get delayed by adverse weather.

“This has required them to make minor adjustments to the regular schedule,” the rep, Brian Moriarty, said.

In response to the noise issue, Susan Steinberg, chair of the ST-PCV Tenants Association, pointed out that the city Department of Environmental Protection normally allows construction between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. on weekdays. Other times, off-hours authorization is required, which in this case management has gotten a permit for.
“Unfortunately, if management has the appropriate permits, there is not too much we can do other than let management know that they are making tenants’ lives miserable,” said Steinberg last Monday. “However,” she added, “if tenants think the noise level may be above allowable decibels, especially on weekends, they should call 311 and create a record.”

By last Tuesday, however, Council Member Dan Garodnick said that after being asked to discontinue the early morning work “for the sake of the peace of residents,” management told him no more work was expected to take place at that time.
“Which is encouraging,” said Garodnick. Last October, Garodnick co-sponsored, along with Council Member Rosie Mendez, legislation aimed at curbing variances that allow owners and developers to do construction work into the evenings.

In other construction news, part of the management office project includes renovating Playground 8, which has begun. According to CW’s last newsletter, the soon-to-come water feature at Playground 8 will have floor-mounted and overhead sprays that keep with the space’s train station theme as well as a new train for kids to play in.

A few other playgrounds in the complex have already been upgraded to include water features or improve the ones that had been there previously.
At Stuy Town’s Playground 4 and Peter Cooper Village’s Playground 2, existing kiddie sprinklers now also include ground sprays, overhead sprays and an interactive spray in Playground PCV 2. Stuyvesant Town’s Playground 2, which didn’t use to have any water sprinklers, now has a water feature that’s interactive and takes up about half the space of the playground.

On Thursday, July 3, a few parents at that playground said they welcomed the new addition as their kids ran around in the sprays.
Peter Cooper resident Stacey Pattillo was one of them although she also had a suggestion for management.
Noting that the sprinklers includes a cannon-like feature that can be moved from one direction to another, Pattillo observed that some of the littler children “come and get blasted” by the high-pressure spray aimed by other kids. “They should keep it fixed to a light shower,” she said. “You see some of the kids get walloped in the face and they get traumatized.” But otherwise, she added, “It’s very nice.”

In more property-related updates, the Oval lawn has officially opened to sunbathers, Moriarty said. Last week, the area was still closed off, leaving desperate sun worshipers attempting to catch some rays on the concrete next to the fountain.

Around the Oval and beyond, the grounds have been extremely colorful lately thanks to the addition of thousands of flowers, which were purchased from local nursery Emma’s Garden Growers.
In its newsletter, CWCapital said the new plantings include: 3,600 caladiums of mixed colors (planted along First Avenue entrances), 1,000 dragon wing begonias, 800 New Guinea impatiens of mixed colors, 800 coleuses of mixed colors, 500 periwinkles of mixed colors, 35 tropical hibiscuses and 35 canna lilies of mixed colors.