NEW YORK — There are more than 280 miles of scaffolding all around the city— and one city council member is renewing his push to help bring down as much of it as possible.
The scaffolding and elevated sheds are designed to protect pedestrians from construction and crumbling facades.
However, with almost 8000 buildings wrapped in scaffolding, City Councilmember Ben Kallos said what it comes down to is many landlords just leave the scaffolding up instead of laying down cash for necessary repairs.
“We should not see scaffolding sitting with no work getting done for seven days, and they need to get the work done within six months of the city will step in and do the work and make the bad landlords pay,” Kallos said.
Kallos pushed for the new law last legislative session but ran out of time. He will reintroduce the bill this week, pledging to continue the fight.
His previous effort was gaining momentum, especially following a dramatic scaffolding collapse in SoHo late last year, which sent one woman to the hospital.
“If you’d asked me about the danger of scaffolding even a year ago I would have said it was a quality of life issue,” Kallos said. “But ever since we had scaffolding falling in Manhattan and Queens— the scaffolding is there to keep us safe from the buildings but who’s going to keep us safe from the scaffolding.”
A number of groups representing real estate and rent stabilization efforts have expressed opposition to this plan in the past. They fear the undue cost burden to quickly fix facades would ultimately hurt renters and would be unfair to owners.