NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Gaping pot holes, uneven streets and abandoned construction debris are common sights in New York City. Many times those conditions are the result of repair work by utility companies.
“It’s a huge disruption for people walking on the street, for traffic that goes by — and not only that — as you can see they leave a mess behind,” Lucy Rogenstein, an Upper East Side resident, said. “There’s tar all over the place, it doesn’t set properly.”
Manhattan Councilman Dan Garodnick (D-4th) says too often utility crews fail to return roads to their previous condition.
“Violations between 2009 and 2013 have tripled, that’s an extraordinary development,” Garodnick said. “So it’s clear that the city is even identifying today more and more problems of shoddy workmanship or private entities that are not just playing by the rules.”
Garodnick is now sponsoring a bill that would increase the penalties for those violations. Under the bill, fines that are currently $1,000 would increase to $5,000, and $5,000 fines would double to $10,000.
The councilman says companies need to know that when their work is done, failure to completely restore a street or sidewalk will result in a hefty fine, CBS2’s Elise Finch reported.
A spokesperson for Con Edison said they will review the legislation. They also pointed out that in the past “utilities and the city have worked together to coordinate and perform work with as little disruption as possible to neighbors and drivers.”
“They respond when it hits their pocketbook and they’re obviously not responding to anything else,” Rogenstein said.
Garodnick will introduce the bill at Thursday’s City Council meeting.