BY THE VILLAGE SUN | Shed foes intend to give the City Council “a taste of their own medicine” — complete with a mock-up of a dining shanty crawling with ravenous rats and festooned with bulging trash bags.
All the — yecch! — action will go down in front of 250 Broadway, at Murray Street, on Tues., Nov. 15, at 12:30 p.m. The protest’s theme: “No Closed Door Deals for Open Restaurants!”
“Once again, the New York City Council is pulling a fast one,” the event’s organizers, the anti-shed group CUEUP, declared in a press release. “On November 22, it will vote on a bill to set the rules for a permanent Open Restaurant program. Intro 31-A [the bill] was created behind closed doors, with the help of the usual cast of characters, i.e. the New York Hospitality Alliance, the city’s restaurant and nightlife lobbyists.
“Those of us who live with the noise, the rats, the trash, the unswept streets and blocked sidewalks will have no input, nor a chance to comment. The message to residents is the same as it has been for the last two years: STFU. We must deliver our own message: WE WILL BE HEARD.”
Nope, the shed critics say they most definitely will not shut the f— up. They have three main demands that they will make loud and clear: that public hearings on the bill be held; that an environmental impact study for permanent Open Restaurants be commissioned; and that the city’s community boards be involved in the program’s plannnig process.
The press release lays out the protest game plan: “We carry signs. We chant. We picket. A small group stands in front of the Council offices with their mouths taped, symbolizing how the Council is treating residents of this city. A float pulls up to the curb with a mock-up of a shed, complete with rats and hanging trash bags. It has a speaker that blasts the shed sounds, that we live with every night, directly into the offices of the City Council. This demonstration will be a raucous expression of public outrage.”
The shed haters note that their actions thus far — including lawsuits — have flipped the script on the debate on the outdoor dining structures, which they deride as public-space-usurping yurts.
“Our efforts have changed the media conversation from outdoor dining as a no-brainer, to outdoor dining as a neighborhood horror,” they said. “Now we have to close the deal. … Even if you’re not accustomed to going to demonstrations, please show up and be heard. It’ll be an hour out of a day that will help restore our streets. If not, it’s noise-rats-trash forever.”
Add to the demands:
• Cash deposit to be paid by any entity permitted to build a crap-shack. Thus far, the city (which is to say: taxpayers) pays to clean up the crap when crap-shacks fail. Anyone against this is arguing in bad faith.
• No crap-shacks (or any in-street dining…or any in-street drinking) on the same side of any street anywhere there’s a bike lane. None. We’ve learned: Private restaurants don’t share public space; they usurp and commandeer it for their own private use. When access to crap-shacks requires crossing traffic (and bike lanes *are* traffic) that’s a hazard to servers, diners and drunks.
• No amplified outdoor sound. None.
Also no sheds sited right at the corner of intersections, which then block the view of bicyclists and cars entering the intersection. I nearly got hit by a car the other day that I could not see because of the shed at the corner of 9th and C. I like this restaurant but I don’t agree they should get 2 free sheds occupying public space, that is creating a hazard for cyclists and pedestrians and motorists because it impedes your view of oncoming traffic.
Worth adding: entities like Transportation Alternative and Streetsblog used to advocate for “daylighting” corners — eliminating the hazard you correctly identify. Transportation Alternatives and Streetsblog now advocate for restaurant crap-shacks that block visibility and make corners *especially* dangerous.
definitely these offensive crap-shacks need to GO! smacks of corruption this cozy hospitality alliance / restaurant & nightlife lobbyists cabal.
obviously nyc administration cares little about residents.
—- AND there are bars – as well as restaurants – which have HUGE crap-shacks. there is one such in Little Italy which covers not only the street fronting the establishment, but also the street around the corner – the entire length of the building…mostly used for storage!!!
Once again the big bucks from the restaurant, bar and nightlife lobbyists given to our “representatives” for their “campaigns” are more important to them than the well-being of their constituents.
The three City Council Members representing the most shanty sheds neighborhoods of Lower Manhattan are ALL up for re-election next year. Vote them out if they shut their ears to THEIR CONSTITUENTS. Do not support them. This includes Christopher Marte representing District 1, Carlina Rivera representing District 2, and Erik Bottcher representing District 3. If they don’t care about us VOTE THEM OUT NEXT YEAR!
On Saturday night, I watched an ambulance struggle to get through on East 4th Street. It was disgusting. Mostly, it was SCARY!
The Sheds have funneled the streets such that EMERGENCY VEHICLES can’t get by. What was worse was as precious life, pending minutes ‘ticked by’ the clearly annoyed noticed the Restaurant Sheds being a ‘legit cover’ for their laziness and post-COVID apathy. I guess none of those drivers ever lost a loved one because the ambulance was stuck in unnecessary traffic. It broke my heart to see this! Until this is resolved there needs to be an immediate series of street routes open to emergency vehicles! PERIOD!
The rats are living underneath, snacking on your crumbs, then tearing into the trash bags piled high at night, then tunneling into the tree pits to have their babies, this is all wrong. We must take back our streets and sidewalks! The real estate the restaurants were loaned has not been cleaned in over 2 years! This stinks! Who do our city politicians work for, rats???