They were dropping off a good bit of clothing to a front-loading washing machine on the corner of 50th Street and Bayonne Avenue.
They were the typical young millennials with the scruffiest, most exposed eyebrows. And they were in suits. I had seen them previously.
There was nowhere to park their SUVs. This woman walked by with her toddler.
She was terrified that she was going to step on an ice or frozen copernicus and break her foot.
“My daughter was literally standing right here with me,” the young mother said on video. “I feel like it was some sort of secret street. I felt like it was something I could never go through again.”
For anyone who walks or drives on streets in New York City, it shouldn’t be any surprise that this is what happens on Bayonne Avenue on weekdays in broad daylight.
— I’d email this to whatever office you happened to be in
This is a dangerous spot because the sidewalk can’t be extended, which means cars can park on it. The building next door has the key to get the sidewalk extended because they are next door to Koor Industries and store production equipment.
The idea behind this is that in cities, we don’t want people falling down from icy conditions, which is why we allow cars to park on the sidewalks.
But this is so dangerous. It literally ended up looking like someone sliced the sidewalk in half to open up a parking spot. It’s a great sidewalk that needs to be extended. Not only does this violate health and safety codes, the blight on the sidewalk is a security concern.
The Westside League of Families has not only been trying to get this room designed, but have been taking pictures and sending them to Mayor Bill de Blasio.
But the cars still continue to park there.
So, does de Blasio care that a bunch of people who live nearby are frightened every time they walk by a construction site? Apparently not.
I posted this on Facebook and a bunch of people in my circle offered to pay for the sidewalk extension. I replied “No, I am not looking for a handout for this. I just want to make sure that we do not become the next Oakland after the Rams did the same.”
Oakland is a dangerous place where ice is an ever-present danger. Ice is almost always on the sidewalks there.
However, our City Council does approve millions of dollars for the renovation of East 72nd Street in Harlem. Like many neighborhoods in New York City, the walkway is poor in design. This walkway is shabby, grungy and unhygienic. The sidewalks are uneven.
When this walkway opens in 2021, we will have done nothing in my view to make this walkway safe. I can’t even imagine living in a city like that.
Diane Bondareff is an investigative reporter who has been writing about newsworthy local and national stories for nearly 20 years. Her writing has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Post, the New York Daily News, and The Village Voice.