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Grand Street Plates Removed (Partially)

by Yori Yanover

Two weeks ago, Councilmember Alan Gerson and Democratic leader David Weinberger stood outside Moishe’s Bakery and spoke to a smattering of press people and a dozen locals about the scourge of noise and hazard heaped on our neighborhood by a Con-Ed contractor as part of project to repair a gas main: A hundred yards of metal plates covering the diggings the electric company has been engaged in on Grand Street, from Columbia to Pitt.

Neighbors complained about the incessant noise, or, as the NY Times aptly headlined it, Roadway Rumbles, Residents Grumble. The crazy part about it was that the work was only done on Saturdays, which meant that the work was suspended for Rosh Hashanah, which fell on Saturday this year, prolonging the project by yet another week.

Councilman Gerson explained the noise and safety problems as the result of the plates being put in place at the end of the workday, “when everyone is rushing home.” He also pointed out the fact that bicycle riders fall victim to slick plates on rainy days, when they try to break and find themselves slipping into oncoming traffic.

Gerson is introducing legislation to require regulation of the of the metal plates, imposing a $250 fine for a first offense. When told this sum may be just a hiccup to the offending contractor, the councilmember said it was at least “a first start.”

Well, regardless of future legislation (the DOT is against it), yesterday that stretch of Grand Street was alive with workmen and a bulldozer repaving over a hefty portion of the road, returning some sanity to the neighborhood. We’ll keep you posted.

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