The Department of Buildings yesterday debuted a new interactive map showing New York City’s 270 miles of sidewalk sheds in real time.
In a press release, DOB explained:
As new permits for sidewalk sheds are issued and existing permits expire, the map will reflect these changes as they occur. Members of the public will also be able to search sidewalk sheds by age, borough, community board, and permit applicant, allowing them to find out exactly what is going on in their neighborhood… While sidewalk sheds – often confused with scaffolding – are some of the city’s most-maligned structures, they are required by law to protect the public from potential hazards when a building has façade defects, is undergoing façade maintenance projects, or where there is ongoing construction. The sidewalk sheds snaking around our city’s streets remain in front of buildings for an average of 293 days.
What does the map tell us about the number of sidewalk sheds on the Lower East Side? Let’s have a look. As of this morning, there were 217 sheds in Community District 3, which includes the East Village, the LES and Chinatown. They have been up an average of 279.43 days, and cover 37,742 linear feet.
Thanks to the new map, you can tell which buildings have had sheds up for the longest period. One of the biggest culprits is 138 Allen St., the unfinished hotel project that has been a blight on the Lower East Side for years. DOB’s map shows it’s had a shed in place for 1,846 days. The latest partial stop worker order was placed on this property late last month.
In 2016, Crain’s looked at the billion dollar scaffold industry. In a story posted yesterday, Crain’s noted that the number of sheds has increased by more than 40% since that investigation. The City Council has been looking at legislation to penalize property owners who leave up sidewalk sheds after building projects are completed. The proposal has gone nowhere.
You can have a look at the interactive map here.