Tuesday, February 8, 2022

City Council hosting public hearing on permanent outdoor dining legislation today

Top photo from Washington Square Park Saturday by Jeremiah Moss 

Updated 2/9

Per the Post: Julie Schipper, head of the city Department of Transportation's Open Restaurants Program, told City Council yesterday that the dining structures that popped up in the summer of 2020 won't be allowed to remain standing after the COVID-19 pandemic eases.

"We don't envision sheds in the permanent program. We are not planning for that," she said. "What would be in the roadway [are] barriers and tents or umbrellas, but not these full houses that you're seeing in the street."

City Council will hold its lone (remote) public hearing today on the city's Open Restaurants program

City officials are looking to make then-Mayor Blasio's no-fee emergency measure launched in June 2020 when indoor dining was prohibited a permanent part of the dining landscape. The Department of Transportation (DOT) would oversee the new program with updated policies and procedures for sidewalk and curbside service. (The Open Restaurants text amendment entered a public review last June.)

Per an article on the hearing via the Post:
Under the current proposal, eateries seeking licenses to operate outdoor dining would have to shell out $1,050 each and then pay a $525 renewal fee following a yet-to-be-determined time period. It also sets up various safety measures and other restrictions for the pop-up, al fresco dining spots to follow, including prohibiting use of advertising signage. 
A permanent outdoor dining program drafted by the de Blasio administration was approved by the Planning Commission last November, but it never reached the Council for a vote before the term-limited mayor left office at year's end.
Streetsblog has a comprehensive preview of the hearing at this link.

According to various estimates in media accounts, the city claims about 100,000 jobs were saved through outdoor dining allowances during the pandemic. 

City Council will hold a final vote on the measure at an unspecified date later this year.

Meanwhile, there is opposition to these plans. This past Saturday, the Coalition United for Equitable Urban Policy (CUEUP) — an alliance of neighborhood and block associations, including several in the East Village — held a march and rally called "Chuck the Sheds" in the West Village to speak out against making the Open Restaurants program permanent. 

In the invite for Saturday's rally, the group noted:
Open Restaurants ... serves us noise, mounds of trash, rats, fire hazards, blocked sidewalks. Ambulances and fire trucks can't access our homes from these narrow and cluttered, impassable streets. The problems were there from the beginning for all to see, yet the Mayor and the City Council chose not to look or listen.
And from the group's website:
CUEUP supports our neighborhood restaurants, and wants them to not only survive, but thrive. However, we oppose making permanent the Open Restaurants and Bars program. Policies regarding the future of restaurants also directly impact the lives of residents and small shops, who must be part of the decision-making process. The top-down process that created the permanent program was unjust and undemocratic.
Nearly 100 people, including several local elected officials, such as District 1 City Councilmember Christopher Marte, attended the rally. You can find coverage at the Post ... Village Sun... and Bowery Boogie.

As part of the public review process, the DOT presented its proposed plan to all 59 Community Boards last year. (Find reaction from CB3's meeting from July here.) As Streetsblog pointed out: "The city's zoning dashboard makes it clear that there’s a lot of controversy. About 30 community boards rejected the city’s proposal; about 22 supported it or at least did not oppose it."

Meanwhile, we continue to hear complaints about the abandoned dining structure on Sixth Street at Avenue A. (Previously here and here.) This structure belonged to August Laura, which officially closed in mid-December. Neighbors say the space has become "a 24-hour shooting gallery."
One resident, who filed a complaint on Dec. 23, shared the 311 service request... and is still waiting for the city to do something about the abandoned structure.
In a tweet, the DOT says the structure has been scheduled for removal, though it didn't say when this would happen.

We've had discussions with other residents about the street eateries that belonged to restaurants that either closed or moved away, such as Ahimsa Garden on 10th Street between Avenue A and First Avenue. The Indian restaurant decamped for Midtown East in November. Their former outdoor space remains boarded up on the street... a for rent sign is on the empty storefront...
Residents have asked who is responsible for this now. Should the restaurant have taken this down before moving? Is it the landlord's duty? Or does this fall to the DOT?  


bill said...

The owner(s) of August Laura should have to pay for the shed's removal, which should be done soon.

XTC said...

Don't shed on me.

noble neolani said...

These emergency shed must go. This is nothing more than a land grab by the hospitality machine and landlords to profit from public land. We all own our streets and sidewalks why should landlords be able to use them as an extension of their property? These sheds are also fire hazards and it won't be long before lives will be lost https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3jLQloTDF88.

Scuba Diva said...

I submitted my testimony via email, since I can't attend the hearing:

To whom it may concern

I am opposed to the indefinite extension of the Open Restaurants program.

The dining sheds that have sprung up outside every restaurant in New York City are unsightly, filthy, and dangerous. Don’t get me wrong—I see them as a temporary solution to the problem restaurants faced when the pandemic made it impossible to seat any number of people indoors after COVID hit last spring.

However, these sheds should not be permanent.

1. Most of these sheds are constructed of plywood—cheap and easy, but also unsightly from the start, and shabby as they wear down. For the most part, they are poorly maintained and attract filth and vermin.

2. Very few of the sheds are locked at night, so they offer passers-by a place to relieve themselves and for the homeless to seek shelter—which is actually the best use for these “COVID cabañas.”

3. These sheds pose both a traffic hazard and a fire hazard. Emergency vehicles may be able to get around them, but visibility is restricted.

4. They are not built to any “code” and the number of inspectors assigned them is woefully inadequate. Some are equipped with space heaters, which again don’t conform to any particular code and increase the likelihood of an accident.

The noise and filth these shacks generate is just a bad deal all around. I live on the sixth floor in the rear of my building. When dinner hour is in full swing, the noise generated can get in the way of my reading, studying, or even watching TV.

I hate pining for the “good old days,” but I do miss the relative quiet of the way sidewalks used to be. Please do not pass legislation that allows these dining sheds to exist in perpetuity.

Neighbor said...

I'll never understand why these groups exclusively focus on abolitions of outdoor dining structures and, instead, don't focus on the actual problems and bad actors. These things have been life saving for many restaurants and add to the ambience of the city in most places. Yes, some places are inconsiderate with music and trash and should be punished. At the same time, the city should take responsibility for dealing with the graffiti and ineffective trash pickup, both which are things that the City is responsible for.

All of the exclusively pro-abolition folks only get support from other pro-abolition folks instead of getting those of us that understand some of the challenges to lend them some support.

Anonymous said...

100 people dine in one of these sheds in a couple of hours, not sure how the opposition can claim to have any meaningful traction. Let’s hope our leaders don’t fall sway to the NIMBYism at play here.

Anonymous said...

311 says they report things to dot and state removal time, but the dot does not remove things. I reported a car and its still there a month later.

Anonymous said...

Maybe it's because it's winter, but I haven't seen many people using the sheds at all. Are they worth it? Most in my area of the LES are just sitting there collecting trash. The one at 6th & Ave A is atrocious.

I think restaurants should be given the option to have outdoor space and, if they choose to, must adhere to strict rules regarding the structure and maintenance. Violations would mean losing that privilege.

My biggest problem, other than the trash and rats, has been being able to see down the street when I cross as a pedestrian. There are some intersections with almost zero visibility, which is extremely dangerous for pedestrians, cyclists and drivers.

Anonymous said...

Get rid of the sheds. Tear ‘em down.

Anonymous said...

If these are abolished, I hope everyone who made it happen doesn’t ever go out to eat….there will be no more restaurants left. Be careful what you wish for, NIMBYs!

noble neolani said...


"bad actors"who exactly are they? How do you stop homeless people from moving into these sheds? How do you keep the rat explosion from getting worst when nobody is responsible for cleaning structures which have been in place for two years. There is sewer quality filth just below diner's feet.

Why is it ok to use public land for profit without any public feedback?
What will happen if your apartment is on fire and streets with sheds on opposing sides make it impossible for trucks to operate?

The bad actors are the former Mayor and the new Mayor unless he opposes these sheds. The bad actors are landlords who will increase rent now that their leasable square footage has doubled or tripled table area. The bad actors are citizens who don't act and are complacent with the land grab of public proptery.

noble neolani said...

@8:51 AM

Get your head out of the sand, this is a more complex issue than what you state.

Anonymous said...

Many of these sheds stand empty and unused for businesses that have moved all service indoors. Other places now use their sheds as storage space for piled-up miscellaneous furniture.

dwg said...

Noise from the Open Restaurants program has made my life miserable. I live on Avenue A at 12th Street and the shouting singing and chanting (chug, chug, chug) at night and on weekends rolls up and down the avenue. There's no way to police it unless residents do the policing and make the 311 calls. It's a burden and a partnership we don't want. Great ideas as a temporary solution-- terrible idea to make permanent.

Anonymous said...

What happened to "sidewalk cafes" and the licensing and rules that goes along with that? This has been in existence for decades. Why is it only now that outdoor dining requires a shed with Covid quickly becoming less of an issue?

I am totally mystified by the city's desire to leave these decaying shanties in our streets. They are physically annoying to have to navigate around due to piled up garbage and people mulling about on the sidewalk while the indoor dining is basically empty.

Visually, most of them are less than third world in construction and appearance.

Anonymous said...

I am AGAINST changes to the zoning and making the outdoor dining/drinking sheds permanent in any way, shape or form.

I, my husband, and neighbors have tolerated these restaurant/bar sidewalk sheds during the pandemic in order to show our support for our local restaurants/bars and their workers during the pandemic. But we are livid at the thought of making them permanent, which is nothing but a public financed money-grab by the restaurants and bars, and eventually by their landlords when their leases come up for renewal. The landlords know that their spaces would be much more valuable and would up the rents dramatically, thereby taking any benefit away from the restaurants/bars and putting it in the landlord’s pocket FOREVER!!! And all this will be done by DESTROYING the rights of us longtime residents to enjoy our homes, according to long established zoning laws, which were established to provide a reasonable quality of city life. Our East Village streets are already overrun with loud, drunken party kids, amplified music, mice and rats, overcrowded sidewalks and streets, and too many bars and restaurants serving cocktails. This sort of thing is appropriate for Times Square, not a residential neighborhood. We have lived and worked in the East Village since the 1980s. We do not want it to become like Bourbon Street in New Orleans. Also, DOT or any other city department will never have the resources to properly police the sheds and enforce any rules that might be set about noise, crowding, trash, rodents, etc. All the rules that already exist are not enforced. So, the default is to depend on residents to call 311 to report problems, which will actually mean that residents will have a full time job calling 311 and continue to suffer from endless problems.

Furthermore, this issue is NOT about parking cars on the street vs. sheds on the street. Most of our residents do not even own cars. This is about quality of life in residential areas, which is why New York developed the current zoning laws and local community boards have control.

The community board in the East Village, and the majority of other community boards, voted AGAINST changing zoning laws and making sidewalk sheds permanent. Community board meetings for public comment were held, which I attended, and neighbors turned out in large numbers to strongly voice that they are AGAINST this proposal. This end-run around the community boards, who have voted AGAINST this proposal who know the neighborhoods that they serve and have always controlled the normal process of applying for outdoor dining/drinking. Community Boards should continue to control this.

We should hold our City Council Member Ms. Rivera accountable for her vote on this. Please email Ms. Rivera's office today at District2@council.nyc.gov since her office is tallying pro/con feedback.

Anonymous said...

I flew back from Europe, arrived late, and finally found a parking spot on 5th Street at about 4:00 in the morning. All the sheds were *crawling* with rats. That, along with their ugliness, made me want to drive back to the airport and return to Europe. The EV used to be beautiful, the most European of U.S. cities, but it’s been desecrated by aesthetically naive and, I suspect, greedy people. Wake up and get rid of these hideous things.

Anonymous said...

I work in a restaurant as a waiter and bartender in the west village where one of these very sheds exist. We rely on them for additional business. Since cold weather has made it insufferable to dine or enjoy a drink outside, there has been no guests as of late. There are two perspectives here. I understand and agree with many of the opinions here on this platform. Yes. Eyesores abound, especially with those businesses which have either been closed or virtually abandoned. They need to be demolished. However, for those destinations like mine where we rely on revenue to pay our bills, rent, and so forth, we depend on walk ins. When those walk ins have been denied access to other nearby places that are overbooked and see we have open space in ours, including an outdoor space, it increases our volume, and thus our income, especially during this pandemic which still ceases to continue. My boss among others are struggling to keep the lights on and the rent paid who incidentally paid 10k for her shed to be completed. Please keep this in mind. These outdoor sheds provide funds in our pockets during a precarious and uncertain time. Has anyone who commented actually worked in the hospitality industry? Has anyone who is intending on protesting today considered the plight of restaurant workers or realized what we have endured in terms of losing work and stability? Many didn't qualify for unemployment or governmental aid. Let that sink in. There are large swaths of people in this city who lack self awareness and who fail to realize the sacrifices that people such as my boss and others have had to make in order to stay open. If a shed is properly maintained and cleaned, why do others care? I don't get it. We all pay taxes and pay our own bills.

Anonymous said...

To the person who just returned from Europe: London and Paris have among the highest rat populations in the world.

Also: "The EV used to be beautiful, the most European of U.S. cities."

The EV isn't a city, and you were not here in the 1970s-80s to see the burned out buildings. Thanks for the revisionist history tho

XTC said...

Sheds are here to stay. The CITY will not abolish them due to the tax revenue they generate plus they're a tourist attraction. 8:51 is correct. The anti-Shed folks have very little meaningful traction. A friend of mine from Italy nearly jumped out of her high heels a couple of months ago when a friendly rat jump out of its hole on Houston St where we were having drinks. She'll get used to it. I took a sip of beer and we continued chatting. The Taxman always wins.

Anonymous said...

@8:45AM on Feb. 8: Uh, NO, these DO NOT "add to the ambience of the city in most places." - unless by "ambiance" you mean the explosion of the RAT population.

And they're a give-away to the restaurant industry. Give 'em an inch (out of decency) during Covid, and now they want to grab the entire curb area permanently. No, no, no!

I'm not patronizing ANY RESTAURANT that has an outdoor dining shed, period.

Anonymous said...

@Feb. 8th at 11:00 AM: Yeah, you don't understand the problem, b/c when your shift is over, you get to go home & you don't have to live with the RATS! Further, whatever noise is produced is happening while you're wide awake and "at work" - but those of us who LIVE here have already experienced what it's like to have any possibility of "quiet enjoyment" completely destroyed. So if your restaurant can't succeed without the sheds, I say: NIMBY!

You try to make restaurant employees sound so heroic, but I reserve that designation for first responders & hospital workers. So maybe we should have hospital-sheds on every block?

anonymous said...

Get rid of the sheds!!! Most places aren’t even using them! Rats are using them though! We need to move on from this.

Anonymous said...

Please. Please! Everyone opposed,you can submit your testimony here: https://council.nyc.gov/testify/ . You have up to 72 hours after the hearing to do so. Many members of my block association have thankfully already done so. At this point, it might be our only hope since our new mayor has the duo title of mayor/nightlife mayor.

Giovanni said...

New York City finally comes up with an outdoor bathroom program and now everyone wants to get rid of it.

Anonymous said...

The sheds need to go for the reasons everyone else stated. If approved, landlords will increase rent and the only places that can afford to rent will be bars & restaurants. It's been a tough few years for all of us but this will go away and so should the sheds. No one is helping out other industries because they don't have the lobbying power or contribute as much to the politicians. Owners received bailout money and free outdoor space. Many places have never had it so good. Some places have tripled their footprint. I could see why some City Council members would vote yes. Not all neighborhood have a many dense shed areas as the EV & GV. Some areas of Brooklyn are quite lovely. A few scattered sheds with brunch areas for families. That's not what's going on in our neighborhood due to the bar friendly Rivera, Mendez, Lopez.

noble neolani said...


So glad your friend can adjust to rats so easily. If your friend was a member of a community garden, or a block association which maintains tree wells she might get sick and tired the constrained and disgusting battle against the explosion of rats. In 40 years living here for the first time in the past year rats invade our building and I had endure the sound of rats sneaking and fighting in the ceiling above my head. I assume you friend was spared that awesome experience. For every single rat you see dozens more are lurking nearby.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Giovanni, made my day!

Anonymous said...

For 11:16 AM

Thanks for responding to my post from 11am.

I never hailed or deemed myself a hero or rather anyone else in our business. Of course the real heres are the front line workers in the hospitals. That goes without saying. They deserve all of our respect and applause. However, your argument pertaining to rats is futile and a bit hyperbolic. Suddenly street noise and rats are now a dire problem because of the erected sheds? I've been living in NYC since 2000. Rats were always a problem even then, especially in the finest of kitchens I worked in, including the exterior of the apartment buildings in the some of the best neighborhoods I resided in. They are everywhere no matter the circumstances. Street noise is also part of our daily lives. I am immune from it at this point. We make great strides to keep a rodent free atmosphere with hidden traps and spray in addition to having our garbage taken out every other night as do our neighbors with their businesses. Do you honestly think it is remotely plausible to remove every shed from every restaurant in NYC so residents such as yourself can breathe a sigh of relief? NIMBY!

Anonymous said...

I like what 11:00am said and have submitted my response. Revenue will win.

Sarah said...

"We all own our streets and sidewalks why should landlords be able to use them as an extension of their property?"

Well, why should individuals get to use them for free car storage?

I think OR should continue, but only with an AGGRESSIVE inspection program that WILL revoke permits for the noncompliant. That includes a music ban after 11 pm. Also every restaurant should have to post a bond against ultimate dismantling of the sheds should the business close.

KHD said...

If a business leaves without the decency to take their shed down, the building that rented to the business should take care of it. They can try suing but that would likely go nowhere, so just suck it up and tear it down.
I'm also against these things being up for good, unless incredibly strict rules are put into place by the city to make them safer and cleaner. Right now the stink that comes off of them, and the filth that collects under them (evidenced when one of these structures comes down) is disgusting.

Anonymous said...

@12:45PM: You state: "Suddenly street noise and rats are now a dire problem because of the erected sheds? I've been living in NYC since 2000. Rats were always a problem even then, especially in the finest of kitchens I worked in, including the exterior of the apartment buildings in the some of the best neighborhoods I resided in. They are everywhere no matter the circumstances. Street noise is also part of our daily lives. I am immune from it at this point."

"Suddenly"??? I say you're FULL OF SHIT, b/c I have been living in the East Village since the 1970's and rats were only previously a problem when huge projects were undertaken (such as: excavate empty lots for NYU dorm construction).

You are wrong to say that "rats are everywhere no matter the circumstances." You are 100% WRONG, period.

The building I reside in (and which I've resided in since the 1970's) HAS NOT had a rat problem in decades - but since these sheds went up, *every* building on my block (both sides of the street) has had a rat problem, and it's cost all of us (we are tenant-owners, BTW) a ton of money to deal with, and we're *still* dealing with this issue every single day. Nobody is reimbursing us the thousands of dollars we've had to spend on this issue.

But thank you for telling me that rats have been everywhere you've ever worked and "especially in the finest of kitchens", b/c that reinforces my commitment to avoid restaurants going forward. But regardless of rats IN kitchens (which is bad enough), now the sheds are active breeding area for rats underneath their floorboards.

As to noise, if you are indeed "immune from street noise at this point" then you must have serious & measurable hearing loss, b/c I and my neighbors hear this enhanced level of outrageous "I am entitled" street noise from these sheds very clearly, and it's to the detriment of our health and well-being. It's also to the detriment of livability in this city.

And finally, you say: "Do you honestly think it is remotely plausible to remove every shed from every restaurant in NYC so residents such as yourself can breathe a sigh of relief?" To which I respond: "HELL, YES!" Every single shed can and should be removed immediately b/c those sheds never existed before Summer 2020, and there is no reason for their continued blight on our neighborhood.

The sheds were an accommodation to restaurant owners: a true gesture of support and good-will that was very widely supported at that time. Now those owners are spitting in the faces of those who had good-will, b/c they the owners now presume dining sheds to be something they're entitled to have forever. They are ungrateful people, and their greediness will be in the forefront of many people's minds for a long, long time to come.

At this point, I don't care if every single restaurant goes out of business. I don't care if all the owners (who have shown how little they care about any of us who live here) go broke. Nor do I care if workers like you (who also don't care about any of us who live here) have to find another job. Preferably you'll all find work far away, in a place where rats & noise are celebrated as a "feature."

Anonymous said...

Most dining sheds in NYC are wider than parked cars making it feel less safe for cyclists and pedestrians.

Intersections with corner sheds are especially dangerous for cyclists and pedestrians crossing the street. Visibility is limited

XTC said...

7:13 is not only a bit overwrought but completely wrong. As a matter of fact (none of which is present in your comment) there was a huge rat problem in the 1970's. A subway poster from 1979 entitled " 7 things every NYer should know about his neighbor" detailed the ongoing problem back in the day. There was also the Rat Patrol project by Christy Rupp who put up arty rat posters where she saw rats taking over. She also did a show called Animals Living in Cities at ABC No Rio which made the point that rats aren't the problem at all. It's the humans who make garbage accessible to the rats.

Anonymous said...

For those of you who submitted testimony, we have been advised to also send it to Carlina Rivera's office, which is apparently tallying pro and con votes, as well as to Susan Stetzer at the CB3:

Anonymous said...

Giovanni. Always sharp as a razor. LOL!!!

Anonymous said...

@4:54PM: "... with an AGGRESSIVE inspection program that WILL revoke permits for the noncompliant. That includes a music ban after 11 pm. Also every restaurant should have to post a bond against ultimate dismantling of the sheds should the business close."

Dream on. That's never gonna happen. The city can't even fine the restaurant that let Sarah Palin eat there while she was Covid-positive and unvaxxed ... b/c there "has to be a city inspector there to see the offense". As I said, dream on, b/c NYC does not do enforcement of these offenses. I personally think a lot of people are getting paid off very handsomely to look the other way.

evccnyc said...

Report abandoned shed to 311. DOS not DOT will get it done, Forward complaints to CB 3.

evccnyc said...

The building just needs to report, DOS will take it down and away

Anonymous said...

@9:26PM: If you can't tell the difference between posters about rats in the SUBWAY (which have always been a problem) and the reality of rats in buildings that have not had a rat issue in decades, I can't help you.

But we know for sure that those sheds are just literal rats' nests, from which spring forth more vermin than ever before.

And here's my recent experience: The last time a rat was seen in my building was almost 30 years ago. But 3 weeks ago, I had to kill an adolescent rat in my apartment at 2AM, by bashing it with an old shoe. And since rats carry all kinds of diseases, it's nice to know they're coming indoors to make themselves comfortable...

Anonymous said...

@1:48AM: "The building just needs to report, DOS will take it down and away".

Yep, so private money was spent on the shed (and becomes a business expense deduction), but PUBLIC (taxpayer) money gets spent to remove it. And people complain about "free parking on the street" for cars? At least THAT is democratically available to everyone, not just restaurant owners.

Anonymous said...

Yikes! Some of these comments back and forth are irate and misguided. Can't more of us just be nicer to each other?

Anonymous said...

“ NYC’s dining sheds have served their purpose — time to shut the COVID dining huts.”

Anonymous said...

Why not band together, grab some tools and start dismantling the abandoned shed?

XTC said...

@6:54- The point of the subway rat posters in 1979 was to educate the citizenry about the ABOVE ground problem. Obviously a great deal more people would see a subway car poster many times over than on the street. Even if your building did not have a rat problem doesn't mean it didn't exist elsewhere.

Everything I posted can be verified by a google search. In addition there was the Times Sq (Art) Show, June 1980, which included rat portraits along with other punk/ street art. There was also a 3 week garbage strike in 1979. Newbies, imagine what that was like!

Yes, there are more visible rats now (as I stated in my first post). Controlling them is not an impossible task- poison, dry ice, metal trash bins, rat patrols. You don't need city inspectors. Set up a website to report the worst offenders.

Anonymous said...

Love the outdoor dining expansion, definitely a better use of our streets than just parking. Looking forward to its permanence. Yes, restaurants need to clean up structures if they leave, and there should be noise limits so residents can sleep. Have an enforcement team walking around in the evening to talk to venues and make sure they follow rules.

Anonymous said...

RE: 12:45 "Street noise is also part of our daily lives. I am immune from it at this point."
Moronic statement. Many streets pre-covid never had outdoor dining, and therefore were much quieter late night. Tear the sheds down.

Anonymous said...

If we get huge snowstorms like we had in the '90s (see lovely Gaseteria photo below) and we still have the sheds where are they going to put the snow?

Anonymous said...

@9:12am: Why don't you explain to everyone *why* those of us who live in the residential buildings should have to use OUR time & money to fight a rat infestation that we did not cause, but whose cause is evident? We did not see rats on my block until the sheds were in use. The cause/effect is utterly clear!

You say: "You don't need city inspectors. Set up a website to report the worst offenders." Uh, WHY would that task fall to any ordinary citizen of NYC? We sure as hell DO need city inspectors, preferably ones who can hand out major fines to the shed operators who are creating perfect conditions for rats to breed.

My building and other buildings on our block have coordinated our efforts to control rats - and we don't need pointers from you, thanks, b/c we are very very well educated about what is required for rat control. But this is costing all of us (collectively) thousands of dollars and a lot of time. Why should that burden fall on us? We are NOT making money from the dining sheds, and the owners of the restaurants have created a literal nuisance whose cost falls on people who have nothing to do with the restaurants.

If we have dining sheds again this summer, NYC will be well on its way to having a rat problem beyond all comprehension.

And since rats like to chew on wires, don't be surprised if the power starts going out in various buildings or even on entire blocks. ConEd had to do massive repairs to the electric wiring under the street on my block last summer, and it's likely they will have to do more of that again this year, if the rats are allowed to overtake the neighborhood.

XTC said...

@10:18- It's not a question of "why YOU should pay, etc".......It's question of HOW the rats can be controlled. Make it a part of the new regulation. If you want a shed pay a fee for rat control. Simple. This not rocket science.

Anonymous said...

@11:07am: You're right - it's not rocket science: Get rid of the sheds, and most of the problem will be resolved!

The answer is not a "shed fee" for vermin control; the ANSWER is to take the sheds down.

Your idea that "new regulations" would somehow take care of a massive rat infestation is, IMO, naïve at best. We know exactly how well NYC handles these situations; it can't even keep the heat on for thousands of NYCHA tenants, so why would anyone imagine that making a "new regulation" would affect the vermin infestation by even one iota?

But perhaps the restaurants can start a new promotion: Every time you dine in a shed, you take a rat home for free!

Anonymous said...

You can't have it both ways: On one hand, people are just "done" with Covid...I see it everywhere (No more masks on our kids! No more talk of the need for vaccination! No more social distancing; let's party!) and on the other hand the restaurant owners want to keep the outdoor seating, Covid or not. I say, get rid of the sheds. They were never meant to be permanent. They represent an ongoing health and safety hazard that should supersede the revenue needs of any private business. These are multi-use public streets. The sheds were established temporarily when the streets were empty due to Covid. They need to be on a timeline to be destroyed and the streets cleaned. Also: Return to normal garbage removal.

Anonymous said...

@Sarah 4:54 the obnoxious, internet commenter line and never used in real life line of "free car storage" is so annoying. It's parking, not "storage". Vehicles are for transportation, to carry people and items. That's why they're on the road. And that is SHARED and PUBLIC space. Meaning, a vehicle parks, and when it leaves, any other vehicle can go there. Making dramatics about a basic public commodity is obnoxious as hell, and is ignoring all of the many many other reasons this open restaurants thing is a pain in the ass in how it's been implemented. It's annoying to just walk around the neighborhood now, bike, drive, etc.

Sarah said...

Dude, I don't know how to break this to you, but in most other places, you have to PAY for the privilege of using city streets to store your car. And it is storage. You're not using it while it's parked, unless you're running one of several illegal types of business.

Anonymous said...

@11:17PM: I don't know how to break it to you, but in NYC a hell of a lot of those parking spaces are METERED, therefore people ARE paying to park!

BTW, you have an odd definition of storage: I guess if an ambulance came to your building b/c someone was injured or had a heart attack, you'd consider that the ambulance was "in storage" while it was waiting at the curb.

And I suppose you think fire trucks also are "in storage" while they're parked while a fire is being fought.

Or else, according to you, ambulances and fire trucks would be among those you consider to be "running one of several illegal types of business"?

Anonymous said...

Issue: Narrow streets with dining structures across from bike lanes leave no room for cyclists.
Cars need to drive through the bike lane because there just isn’t enough space otherwise.
Example: 4th St. between 1st and 2nd Ave.

Anonymous said...

This is a massive transfer of public space (streets/sidewalks) to private interests (restaurants and landlords who benefit by increasing their vey expensive retail level space). Typical "Shock Doctrine" thinking, where you use a disaster like a pandemic, to give away public resources. Just say NO to this massive transfer of public wealth to the corporations!

Scuba Diva said...

At 11:42 AM on February 8, Giovanni said:

New York City finally comes up with an outdoor bathroom program and now everyone wants to get rid of it.

That's one way to look at it!

Anonymous said...

to clarify--dot does not schedule abandoned sheds for removal. They are put on a list for removal. Very different thing since the list is not executed.