EAST VILLAGE, Manhattan (PIX11) – Sidewalk sheds are erected to protect pedestrians from falling debris and avoid tragedies across New York City. But for some residents in the East Village, they have become eyesores that make life miserable for tenants.
Piece by piece, the sidewalk shed on 3rd Street between Avenue B and Avenue C came down. Longtime residents said it’s been surrounding a NYCHA development for years. When it finally came down, residents celebrated with a sidewalk party.
Wearing party hats and with confetti poppers in their hands, Kanielle Hernandez and her neighbors at the Bracetti Plaza celebrated the end of an era of an eyesore. As workers took down the sidewalk shed, there were cheers.
The New York City Department of Buildings told PIX11 News that the shed has been there since November 2015. The shed was built due to unsafe façade conditions at the building.
Hernandez said she understands the shed was there to protect pedestrians, but it being up for so many years was frustrating and she felt that needed to change. Over the years, Hernandez has written letters to senators and city agencies. She even started a petition in 2020, collecting hundreds of signatures.
The Department of Buildings is the city agency that oversees sidewalk sheds in New York City and said there are 9,683 active sheds across the city. They are up for an average of 226 days. The department even has an interactive map with each sidewalk shed represented.
A Department of Buildings spokesperson told PIX11 News, “Sidewalk sheds are an important public safety tool used to protect pedestrians. We were happy to work with our partners at NYCHA on addressing these important building façade issues to improve the quality of life for public housing residents.”