WNYC: Standing Water in Chinatown Threatens Economy, Officials Claim

September 27, 2011

By Brian Zumhagen, WNYC

Standing water at curbsides is harming the quality of life and economy of Chinatown, community leaders claimed Friday.

State Senator Daniel Squadron released a study that says the neighborhood is particularly susceptible to "ponding" — when puddles fail to drain within 48 hours after rain. His office found nearly 100 such puddles during one of the driest Julys on record.

Virginia Kee, founder of the Chinese-American Planning Council, said the standing water creates a hazard for residents and hurts the neighborhood's reputation among visitors.

"When people say, 'Oh, Chinatown smells. It is dirty. It is this. It is that,' they do not realize that, for years and years, we have asked to have this problem solved," she said.

Squadron is calling on the city's Department of Transportation to create a specific 3-1-1 category for ponding so service requests and repairs can be tracked the way they are for potholes.

City officials say calls to 311 about “ponding” are addressed, usually by the city's Department of Environmental Protection, though they are referred to the DOT when there's damage to streets.

Read more here.