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Lower East Side “late night quality of life improvement plan” announced by de Blasio

Bill de Blasio Lower East Side nightlife plan
photo via the NYC Mayor’s Office

The latest move from NYC’s Office of Nightlife, which was established in 2017, along with “night mayor” Ariel Palitz, concerns policing The Lower East side after dark. The 24-block chunk dubbed “Hell’s Square” that contains the lion’s share of the neighborhood’s bars and venues has been accused of ruining the neighborhood, and Mayor Bill de Blasio took aim at that area on Tuesday (10/22), announcing the “late night quality of life improvement plan” at a press conference held at bar Max Fish. “The world loves New York nightlife,” de Blasio says, “but we also have to take care of the New Yorkers who live where others play. We are creating cleaner, quieter streets to improve quality of life while ensuring bars, restaurants and clubs can thrive.”

“Nightlife is vital to New York City’s local culture and global identity,” Palitz said. “The Lower East Side is one of the city’s most vibrant and social neighborhoods. This plan coordinates City services to support our thriving nightlife and respond to the needs of the residential community, to ensure that nightlife is fair and works for everyone.”

“Residents, small business owners and community leaders have been fighting for relief from the quality of life impacts of nightlife on the Lower East Side,” City Council member Margaret Chin said. “While I am proud to do my part by allocating discretionary funding to organizations like ACE and the Lower East Side Partnership to enhance clean-up efforts every year, we need a clear plan that pushes businesses to be good neighbors and makes sure that all residents feel respected. I am glad to see the Administration is joining our efforts through this multi-agency plan, and I look forward to working with our community leaders to make sure this plan is a success.”

As Patch reports, the plan includes new parking regulations, a new litter removal schedule, and a “night owl” etiquette campaign:

New parking regulations to ease traffic congestion and reduce noise
-DOT is implementing a “No Standing” rule from midnight to 6 AM on the west side of the streets and 7 PM to 7 AM on the east side of streets, seven days a week
-Removing standing vehicles overnight eases congestion, honking and other noise

New litter removal schedule coordinated with bar closing times for more efficient cleaning and additional street cleaning
-To more efficiently clean neighborhood streets, DSNY street sweepers will now operate between 3 and 6 AM
-The prior schedule from midnight to 3 AM was less efficient, as many businesses were still open and patrons were still out
-The Business Improvement District (BID), the Lower East Side Partnership, will provide 200 hours of street cleaning services a week, seven days a week
-Council Member Chin allocated $30,000 expense funding to LESP for cleaning Ludlow St, which is outside the BID boundaries
-Council Member Chin has also allocated $40,000 in capital funds to LES Partnership to purchase a power washer truck

Increased enforcement of for-hire vehicles
-TLC will increase enforcement patrols to crack down on unlicensed for-hire vehicles double parking and making unauthorized pickups
-A 10-person team of TLC officers and supervisors will conduct random patrols between 11pm and 3am at least once every Friday and Saturday night

Mayor’s Office of Nightlife “Night Owl” etiquette campaign urging patrons to be more considerate
-Awareness Campaign will urge patrons to use common-sense nightlife consideration including keeping sound to a minimum and keeping sidewalks clean and clear. The PSA will be displayed on LinkNYC kiosks in the area
-The Office of Nightlife and NYPD will distribute signs to bars and clubs with tips for theft prevention

Council Member Rafael Espinal said, “when I wrote the legislation to create this office, one of its main focuses was to study how to support nightlife with community involvement. We should find a balance that respects both residents trying to maintain their quality of life and people that come to the neighborhood to have a good time. I commend Nightlife Director Ariel Palitz on this innovative and community-based initiative, which can be a model that’s replicated in similar communities.”

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