Notes from Feb. 24 Block Meeting
The West 55th Street Block Association held its first quarter meeting from 7 pm to 8 pm on Feb. 24, 2020 in the Social Room at 340 West 55th Street. About two dozen people were in attendance, including representatives from NY Assembly Member Linda Rosenthal's and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer's offices.
1) Christine G reported on the latest developments regarding the MTA site at West 54th and Ninth Avenue. Neighbors for Hell's Kitchen is asking folks to come to the Community Board 4 Meeting on March 4 (see above Upcoming Events for details) to make their opinions known. We have since learned that the Land Use Committee of CB4 is inviting residents to come to their April 11 meeting (see Upcoming Events for details) on the same topic.
2) Sheila F volunteered to be point person on finding a replacement tree from Parks Department for 321 West 55th. The hope is that we could get a London Plane tree for the site. She is coordinating with Linda Rosenthal's and Gale Brewer's offices.
3) Bike Lanes. Now that the weather is getting warmer, we're hoping that the Department of Transportation will paint loading zones stripes as promised last August. We've heard from other Block Associations who are having problems with the bike lanes as well.
4) We sent a letter to CB4 asking them to ask the City to postpone efforts to create a dedicated bus lane on Ninth Avenue. With all the construction on Ninth Avenue (slated to continue for three more years), it would just make traffic a nightmare.
5) Treasurer's report: Susan M reported that, as of Feb. 24, we have $14,000 in checking and $2008 in savings. We have paid Sav-A-Tree for putting up the lights in 2019 but we still owe them $1496.50 for taking down the lights, which leaves us in pretty good shape until next fall's fund-raising campaign. Upcoming expenses include travel grants ($500 each) for up to three juniors at the High School for Environmental Studies, tree bed planting (around $1100) and July 4 block party (a few hundred dollars).
6) New Business:
- Seems like we're seeing more dog feces on the sidewalks. Please contact Christine if you'd like to help figure out some solutions. Ideas include a station with dog poop bags in the middle of the block, poop-cleaning teams.
- A resident of 357 West 55 reported that they are looking for a new commercial tenant to replace the Citibank branch office that was on the corner.
- Members of the seven co-op boards on West 55 are meeting on March 30 at 7 pm in the Social Room at 340 West 55.
- We still don't know what's going on with construction at 337-339 West 55 or when they might finish.
- CB4 is trying to get the SRO on West 56th Street renovated. 11 people still live there.
- Could we get composting on West 55th? So far none of the buildings have asked for it.
- Jen would like folks to know that God's Love We Deliver is available for anyone on the block who needs a meal or wants to volunteer.
- Someone asked about Stiles Market but no one knows whether/if they will reopen on West 52.
- There are lots of rumors about a Trader Joe's opening up in the area--maybe at the site of the old Cognac restaurant? No one knows for sure.