Lo-Down reader Julie Huang sent us a few photos showing the sloppy, slippery conditions in the nabe. It’s not exactly a news flash that New York’s record snowfall has made walking around the Lower East Side a little tricky (at best) and (at worst) treacherous. And there’s a whole lot more melting in our future! So is there anything you can do to cajole the Department of Sanitation into clearing the worst trouble spots?
This might make you roll you eyes, but city officials swear calling 311 is the most effective way to alert them about dangerous sidewalk and street conditions. On the 311 web site, there’s an advisory spelling out how quickly property owners must shovel sidewalks. According to the notice:
You can make a complaint at any time about snow or ice on sidewalks in front of public property such as a bus stop shelter, a park path, or a school. You can make a complaint about snow or ice on sidewalks in front of private property after property owners have had the appropriate amount of time to clear their sidewalks.
Lots of people are, of course, not convinced calling 311 has much effect. If you don’t get a response in a reasonable amount of time, you might try getting in touch with Community Board 3. Last week, they were able to get the Parks Department’s attention pretty quickly, after a resident complained about the conditions alongside Seward Park.
You can email CB3 at email@example.com. There’s also a complaint form you can fill out, directly from the community board’s web site. If you don’t have internet access, you can call 212-533-5000. But, according to CB3 District Manager Susan Stetzer, emails are generally answered and the problem dealt with even when the office is closed. So that’s the most efficient way of dealing with a problem quickly.