Monday, March 30, 2009

NYBG Garage Construction Site Creating Dangerous Situation for Pedestrians (Updated)

Friday, 3/27: Barriers set up to 'protect' pedestrians from oncoming traffic have been pushed aside, rendering the temporary walkway impassable.

BoogieDowner is usually one of the New York Botanical Garden's biggest fans. We live a short 2 or 3 minute walk from this world-class horticultural wonderland, and visit it at least once or twice a week with our 1 year old, Pearl.

Since the construction of NYBG's new parking garage on the corner of Webster Avenue and Bedford Park Blvd. has stalled due to lack of funding, we've been getting a little peeved about the temporary walkway that's been set up for pedestrians on the northbound side of Webster. The construction site pushes out past the sidewalk, so pedestrians are left walking basically in Webster Avenue with nothing but temporary wooden barriers protecting them from oncoming traffic. Simply put, it's DANGEROUS.

Well, this weekend the situation become even more perilous for pedestrians due to temporary barriers being pushed perpendicular to the construction site, rendering the walkway literally impassable. Anyone wishing to get from Botanical Square over to Bedford Park Blvd. must cross Webster Avenue to do so. It's absolutely infuriating.

We've emailed some contacts over at the Garden, but the messages have mysteriously bounced back. We've also called 311 to log an official complaint with the City, but had to give up on the phone call after about 10 minutes of trying to explain the situation to the incompetent operator.

BoogieDowner is angry. NYBG is normally one of our favorite amenities in Bedford Park, but we feel they've totally bungled this garage project. We were in favor of the project when it was first announced and even when construction was up and running, but now Bedford Park residents are left with a gaping whole in the ground and a dangerous situation for pedestrians in the area. To add insult to injury, it seems NYBG doesn't feel the need to work with the press to communicate with the community (for example, their spokesman declined comment in Dorian Block's Daily News article about growing frustration regarding the construction site) about their future plans for complete the project.

Please note that the photos you see were taken this Friday and Saturday, 3/27 and 3/28. It's quite possible that someone has corrected the situation by now in the one day that's passed since we took them, but somehow we doubt it...

Saturday, 3/28: The situation had only gotten worse, with barriers not only blocking the temporary walkway, but also jutting out into Webster Avenue's right lane of traffic.

Update (3:56pm): We heard back from Nicholas Leshi, NYBG's Associate Director of PR, who says it "...looks like the barricades were moved by a third party (maybe due to an accident). I know that our Capital Projects Director is now aware of this unacceptable situation and making sure it's corrected immediately."

Update: Problem was resolved promptly. Click here for more info on resolution.



Ajlouny said...

There has to be a responsibility to taking care of all the hazards this construction site is offering. This seriously needs to be taken care of before someone gets hurt.

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