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Beauty Or Blight? Some East Side Residents Not Pleased With $4K ‘Bubble Gum’ Pink Mural

City Calls It 'Barrier Beautification,' But Some Locals Say It's An Eyesore
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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A bright pink mural lining a bike lane barrier is stirring controversy on the East Side of Manhattan.

It’s big, it’s pink and it has taken over two city blocks right outside Janet Handal’s window.

“It’d be nice to see something that was pleasing and not something that you just go, ‘ugh,'” Handal, of the Waterside Tenants Association, told CBS 2’s Jessica Schneider on Friday.

The city calls it “barrier beautification,” but for many of the 4,000 people who call Waterside Plaza home it’s an everyday eyesore.

“I think it’s got this sort of Pepto Bismal color pink or bubble gum pink, which just doesn’t fit here. I feel like it would fit better in the school yard,” said resident Irene Narissi.

The artwork popped up last weekend after the Department of Transportation chose the design and paid two artists $4,000 to paint it.

That’s money people said could have been better spent.

“It seems to me they ought to be spending their money, instead of painting this, to paint our bike lanes,” said Handal.

The bike path runs along the East River and hugs the FDR Drive at one particular spot that abruptly ends, forcing bikers to jump on the sidewalk.

Handal said she’s been asking DOT for a fix since 2008.

“We’ve met with people from the Department of Transportation and still we can’t get the crossover points painted, yet this shows up with no notification, no consultation. It just shows up,” Handal said.

The DOT said the community board was notified about the mural and it is working to fix the signage.

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