[EVG photo from Oct. 15]
Local elected officials are continuing to urge the city to quickly come up with solutions for parking its fleet of garbage trucks on 10th Street at First Avenue.
As I first reported on Sept. 18, the DSNY is now using part of 10th Street for up to seven trucks. The DSNY no longer has use of their garage at 606 W. 30th St., and are relocating their trucks elsewhere, including Pier 36.
This move — apparently done without much, if any, consultation with Community Board 3 — has sparked numerous complaints from residents and merchants alike who have called out the problems with the smell, noise and negative impact on business.
Nearly a month has passed since Mayor de Blasio promised to “relieve the immediate pressure” on 10th Street. “Do we want garbage trucks parking on residential streets? Of course not,” said de Blasio, as CBS 2 reported. “What we’re trying to do every day is figure out the kind of facilities that will help avoid that in the future.”
Here's part of a letter to Kathryn Garcia, the city’s Department of Sanitation commissioner, that Sen. Brad Hoylman's office shared with me on Friday:
Presently, the vehicles parked on East 10th Street between First and Second Avenues have created significant quality of life, public safety, and traffic related issues for residents and businesses. As a result, my office has received numerous complaints.
I understand that the owner of the Manhattan 6 garage located at 606 West 30 Street has declined to renew the lease for the DSNY vehicles. However, the city should not force residents and small businesses in the East Village into shouldering DSNY’s burden. My constituents are justifiably concerned about the lack of notice, as well as the decline in their quality of life due to the unwelcome odor, the lack of available parking, and the overbearing appearance of the vehicles.
Furthermore, this situation presents multiple public safety issues as the bike lane now overlaps with the vehicle traffic lane, thereby endangering cyclists. The vehicles also block curb ramps. This, of course, disproportionately impacts seniors and residents with disabilities, which, as I am sure you are aware, could create a potential liability for the City.
My constituents and I find this situation unacceptable. I implore you to find a more suitable location for these vehicles and I am happy to work with your office to achieve this.
Meanwhile, District 2 City Councilmember Carlina Rivera asked the mayor to take action as well in a letter from last week. That letter reads in part:
I am writing to urge full cooperation from your office and all relevant city agencies in relocating sanitation vehicles parked on East 10th Street between First and Second Avenues in Manhattan. The situation on the block has become untenable. Seniors and people with disabilities are unable to safely access transportation directly on the street, small businesses have verifiably seen their sales decrease, and public safety concerns are rising as the large vehicles block visibility to and from the street.
In addition to these concerns, the accident in Crown Heights on October 11 that saw a pedestrian fatally struck by a Department of Sanitation truck has heightened residents’ sensitivity about this issue. They note that this highly-trafficked part of the East Village, which sees pedestrian activity late into the evening due to a robust nightlife culture, is primed for a similar tragedy.
We need to work together to relieve the burden on these constituents and move the sanitation vehicles off of this narrow side street. At recent meetings, Community Board 3 and my office suggested alternative sites. Therefore, I look forward to continuing our conversations to find a quick solution that has less impact on commerce and safety.
The Post reported yesterday about a new concern with the parked trucks: muggings. Early in the morning on Oct. 11, a sanitation worker was threatened at knifepoint in front of Pinks at 242 E. 10th St. According to the Post, a 22-year-old Bronx man was charged with menacing and criminal possession of a weapon.
Per the article:
With the hulking trucks lined up like elephants at the curb, blocking the view of cops in patrol cars, pedestrians are at risk, residents complained to the Post.
“There is no visibility from the street. You could rob someone, mug someone or push someone into their building,” warned Michelle Lang, 48, who lives in the 16-story New Theatre condo on E. 10th Street. “There are parents with strollers.”
The threat against the garbage man is an example of “what we have feared all along,” she added.
DSNY spokesperson Dina Montes recently told The Villager that "The department is working to evaluate alternative parking options as provided by elected officials and the community board. Other city agencies, such as [the Department of Transportation], may need to be involved in evaluating any alternate spaces as well."
Interestingly enough, during the "Trash Bash" protest at Pinks on the evening of Oct. 11, there weren't any garbage trucks parked outside the bar, preventing a photo opp for a CBS 2 news crew ... only a private hauler zipped by during the festivities ...
[Photo on Oct. 11 by Stacie Joy]
Previously on EV Grieve:
Questions and concerns as the sanitation department begins using 10th Street to park garbage trucks
More trash talk about those garbage trucks parked on 10th Street