UPPER WEST SIDE, Manhattan (PIX11) — When scaffolding goes up in New York City, it often doesn’t come down for years.
In the East Village, neighbors held a party last fall when the scaffolding came down after eight years.
On the Upper West Side, residents said one particular bit of scaffolding had been there for over 16 years.
Now, the New York City Council is preparing to take action.
“It’s been here longer than I have,” Tina Hughes, an Upper West Side resident, told PIX11 News. “It’s kind of ugly and I’d like to see it go away.”
Neighbors and residents can barely remember when the West 86th Street building did not have a safety shed, scaffolding and netting.
Since 2006, it’s been up with barely any work being done, according to residents.
“I think it adds to unsafety in the street,” Deirdre McMurray, an Upper West Side resident, told PIX11 News. “I don’t really like it at all.”
There are more than 9,000 active sidewalk sheds across New York City, and more than 200 of them have been in place for more than five years with little to no repair work being done.
”It’s a blight on our neighborhood,” Mark Levine, the Manhattan borough president, told PIX11 News. “It’s ugly. It’s a safety issue and we’ve got to do better.”
And that’s why on Thursday, four City Council members are introducing legislation to stop the use of sidewalk sheds with no repairs taking place.
One bill would provide landlords with low-interest loans to speed up the costly façade work. Another would be to change the design and layout safety standards. A third bill would increase fines.
“For buildings not doing the right thing, we want to increase the fines and even have the city do the façade work, sending the bill to the building owner to get this done,” Levine told PIX11 News.
Repairs to 51 West 86th Street have started after the NYC Department of Buildings sued the building owner.