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November newsletter: Holiday Lights; Another Traffic Jam on West 55th; Halloween Photos; Update on 809 Ninth Avenue and a Protest Letter to Elected Officials; Invitation to a Debate Watch Party. 

Holiday Lights Are Here!

Did you notice anything different when you came home Monday evening? Sav-A-Tree has begun hanging the lights on the block. They had to start in the mid-block because there were too many cars parked towards Eighth Avenue. In previous years, they would have been able to double-park but this year because of the added bike lane, that would have blocked traffic and so was not possible. 

Fortunately, Detective Mike Dugan, our community liaison with the Midtown North Precinct stepped in to save the day. He gave us "No Parking on Tuesday" signs to hang on the trees on the eastern half of the block (north and south sides). So the eastern half of the block should start getting its lights on Tuesday. Thank you Detective Mike!

Arggh!! Another Dangerous Traffic Jam
on West 55th 

Traffic was frozen again for more than an hour due to an ambulance in the street on Sunday. With parking on both sides of the street and the lack of loading/unloading zones we were promised back in August, the ambulance had no choice but to stop in the middle of the block. There was no way for traffic to get around. Thank goodness we didn't have another emergency--such as a fire--at the same time as a fire truck would not have been able to get through. 

So far we have just head excuses from the powers that be about when the zebra stripes will be painted to set off the loading/unloading zones. The Department of Transportation blames the police for parking their cars on the sides but the Precinct tells me that no even let them (or the neighborhood) know when they were supposedly coming to paint the stripes. Christine Berthet from CB4 and Erik Bottcher from Corey Johnson's office have sent emails on our behalf, but we're still waiting. 

Pardon my frustration but it looks to me like being patient and cooperative has gotten us nowhere fast. 

Anyone have any ideas about what else we can do to get this resolved before someone is seriously injured or worse?
Above and below are just a few of Carol S's photos from the Halloween Pet Parade. See the rest (at full scale and resolution) by clicking on the following link: Annual 55th Street Pet Parade -- 2019. Thank you, Carol!
Update on 809 Ninth Avenue 
Many of us are concerned about what the City is hoping to build on West 54th and Ninth Avenue. More than 10 years ago, we were promised affordable housing on that lot (currently an MTA parking lot). Now it looks like the City is going back on its promise and will instead bring in a supportive housing group that has never had to operate such a large building before and has more than the average number of police calls and housing violations (among other things) with its much smaller buildings. 

Martin K on West 54th Street has written a very strong letter about the situation that he plans to send to elected officials. He begins by saying, "In 2005 this neighborhood was promised 267 units of affordable housing for low- and moderate-income families as part of the Points of Agreement that enabled the creation of Hudson Yards. Hudson Yards has been built. The affordable housing for families has not, and now we are told it may never be. This is not acceptable."

Please read the rest of the letter if you are interested and consider signing it. The link is A Neighborhood Betrayed. A number of people from West 55th and other blocks as well as business owners along Ninth Avenue have already signed it. 
Goblins by Michele R. 
Copyright © 2019 West 55th Street Block Association, All rights reserved.

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