|86th Street bet Third and Lexington|
I've spoken to numerous neighbors, some of which have come to my unsolicited, and the consensus is unanimous- we are all frustrated and disgusted! Yes, there are plenty of slobs that transit 86th Street, but I would argue that there are other factors at work that contribute to this being one of the nastiest stretches in the city.
1- Street Vendors. Any of you who follow this blog, or know me well, knows that these Cretans are the bane of my existence! Aside from taking up parking spots, three quarters of the sidewalk, and looking like junk, these people have an absolute disregard for the garbage that their business creates. Wrappers, tags, and paper associated with pashminas, cell phone covers, and counterfeit handbags are all over the place. And frankly- they don't give a crap. When I was a kid, in the bad old 70's, if they saw a cop approaching they would grab all of their wares and run for it. Now, it is like they own the place and consider it a campground. Don't even get me started on the food trucks!
2- Sanitation Fail #1. No enforcement of sanitation laws for merchants and landlords. Is it me, or isn't there a law that if you have a store, or own a building that you are responsible for the cleanliness of the sidewalk and curb? If that is still the case, there is no evidence of enforcement.
Until 2012, "Ready Willing, and Able" workers were cleaning the streets in and around 86th Street in a $300,000/yr program, but the effort was ended when funds from the "Doe Foundation" were required for Hurricane Sandy related clean-up. The East 86th Street Alliance collected funds to have the street covered by cleaners for 4 hours a day, but that clearly is not enough! The bigger question is why a local organization or foundation has to subsidize garbage clean-up in the first place? Isn't that what the Department of Sanitation is there for? If the three issue I mention above are properly addressed, and that is easy, we can live with the slobs, and a much cleaner East 86th Street!