A reader sent this letter to Town & Village last Tuesday about traffic problems during ongoing work along Avenue C. A response from the DOT and Con Ed follows.
Avenue C has been torn up for over three weeks, between at least 20th Street and 14th Street. I assume this is done by the DOT but I’m not certain of it.
In any case how can any responsible agency be permitted to tear up a major access road (this stretch serves as both means of entry and exit for the East River Drive) and leave it in the condition of a veritable mine field? It’s beyond reason. Traffic is slowed to a crawl and vehicles are swerving left and right to avoid major pot holes, exposed sewer covers and gas vents. (On what had been a level street to begin with, I traverse the area daily and there were no issues with this street.) Vehicle and pedestrian safety are severely compromised.
One evening last week, Con Edison employed the use of traffic cones and security guards on both 16th and 14th Streets to secure parking for their employees on the Stuyvesant Town perimeter. I believe this was done due to the congestion caused by no parking on Avenue C. Is this legal? And to top it off, that same night DOT (?) was tearing up the intersection at 14th Street and First Avenue.
What’s going on here? Why is our neighborhood being taxed so severely by poorly coordinated city services and an out of control power company? If street work is necessary, fine. Tear it up as needed but don’t leave it in this condition for weeks (months?) at a time.
Demolition/tear-up should not be permitted unless the repairs are to be made immediately. Is this so contractors can start as many jobs as possible and then get back to them when they see fit? Who is responsible for this? The public is not being well served.
A package pileup at 441 East 20th Street in late September gets photographed by Susan Steinberg, president of the ST-PCV Tenants Association.
By Sabina Mollot
For over a year, residents in some buildings in Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper have had to deal with their lobbies being subjected to package pileups.
Rather than deliver packages directly to tenants’ apartments, the boxes have been left to pile up into small towers in lobbies, in some cases, tenants have said, creating a fire hazard when the boxes obstruct the doors from being able to fully open.
Additionally, last week, Susan Steinberg, president of the Tenants Association, told T&V that this situation didn’t look like it was going to change any time soon.
Last Monday, Steinberg said as she was about to leave a building in Peter Cooper, she caught up with a UPS driver who informed her that door deliveries were “always a courtesy.”
After complaining about the package pileups, Steinberg said the driver explained that the volume of packages has gotten so high that, “We can’t do it anymore or we can’t finish our rounds.”
Steinberg added that she was told at a past meeting with CompassRock that management has spoken with the different carriers about this issue. But since that hasn’t seemed to help, the Tenants Association will be bringing up the issue with management again.
Packages recently piled up in the lobby of Council Member Dan Garodnick’s building in Peter Cooper Village. (Photo by Dan Garodnick)
By Sabina Mollot
Back in April, CompassRock alerted residents to a change in policy in which UPS would no longer be leaving packages for residents outside their doors without their signatures. Instead, residents were advised they could get a membership to Oval Concierge, which would accept packages on their behalf. One month of complimentary service was offered in the emailed alert to residents “while you sort out your plans to get deliveries safely home.”
However, this week, UPS said that it never changed its policy and that packages could still be left outside doors. Council Member Dan Garodnick was made aware of this in a letter from UPS’s Vice President of State Government Affairs Mark Giuffre, after contacting the company. Garodnick also said he’s since alerted Oval Concierge to the error.
When asked about the alert, a spokesperson for UPS, Dan McMackin, told T&V, “We’re confused. We have no idea what they’re talking about.”
He added that there are buildings where owners handle packages for tenants and in those buildings, tenants are notified by UPS that the owner has them. However, said McMackin, there’s no such agreement at ST/PCV.
In response to a call from T&V, a spokesperson for CWCapital, Brian Moriarty, said the reason the alert went out is because UPS drivers were the ones to make a call as to whether or not to leave packages in buildings. Apparently they can decline to do so in the event of package thefts being reported at a particular building.
“We were just told by the customer service rep it is the driver’s discretion whether or not to leave a package when three or more packages have gone missing from a particular location,” Moriarty. “I don’t know that the flag on certain PCVST building would necessarily be communicated to the national (UPS) office.”
Meanwhile, Garodnick said he’s also followed up on another issue relating to packages left in buildings. In recent months, residents have been complaining that a third party delivery company for Amazon has been leaving packages unattended in building lobbies.
Recently, when spotting a deliveryman doing just this in his own building, Garodnick said he asked why the packages were being left there. The response: “He said, ‘Well most people aren’t home,’” said Garodnick. “So I’ve raised the issue with Amazon and they’re looking into the issue. I am trying to get us back into a place where people can expect to see packages in front of their doors without having to rely on Oval Concierge service.”
The third party delivery company, which apparently works for various dot coms, is called Special Logistics. They did not return a call by T&V’s press time.
McMackin said UPS would be looking into the matter of any packages left in lobbies. “Packages should not be showing up in lobbies,” he said.