UPPER EAST SIDE, Manhattan (PIX11) — Some Upper East Side residents are trying to convince the Taxi and Limousine Commission to take action against a cab driver who they say has been a nuisance around the neighborhood for years.
But their complaints have nothing to do with his driving. They say the man makes frequent daily stops around the Upper East Side – with or without passengers – to pull over and dump large quantities of birdseed onto the sidewalks.
“They come from everywhere,” said neighbor Mike Volfman. “It’s amazing. It’s like a horror movie.”
Longtime resident Peter Quinn said 250 to 300 pigeons will come flock to one pile of birdseed, leaving behind an inevitable mess and an eventual rat problem.
“Essentially what he does is, he drives around the neighborhood with bags of birdseed and stops periodically and dumps them out,” said longtime Upper East Side resident Peter Quinn.
Quinn said he has tried to talk to the driver, to no avail.
“He had a routine, and the pigeons obviously caught on it very quickly, and they would amass in the neighborhood,” said Quinn. “They knew, we knew, everybody knew when he was rolling up First Avenue to feed them.”
Both Quinn and Volfman have also made complaints to TLC.
Volfman then posted about the problem on the neighborhood forum ‘Nextdoor,’ and started a change.org petition.
“I didn’t realize how consistent it was until I posted on ‘Nextdoor,” said Volfman. “It’s amazing how many other people witnessed this.”
In a statement, the Taxi and Limousine Commission said:
“TLC strongly encourages all licensed drivers to operate professionally and that includes acting as good neighbors in the communities they serve. We take 311 complaints seriously and address them as appropriate.”
PIX11 News reached out to the taxi company that owns the driver’s medallion, but have not heard back.