Squadron Report Prompts Dot Action on Ponding in Chinatown

Daniel L. Squadron

December 22, 2011

DOT Responds to Community, Agrees to Resurface Roads, Undertake Pothole Blitz, Meet with Chinatown Business and Community Leaders

Squadron Report Detailed Road-Curb Ponding’s Negative Impact on Chinatown’s Quality of Life and Economy

NEW YORK – Today, State Senator Daniel Squadron announced that the New York City Department of Transportation responded to his calls and will begin to repair problematic road-curb ponding conditions in Chinatown that harm the neighborhood’s economy and quality of life. 

Ponding – water that accumulates along the sides of roads and curbs and remains days after a rainfall – has been particularly prevalent in Chinatown. In addition to repairing a number of Chinatown Streets, DOT will undertake a ‘pothole blitz’ in the coming months. Senator Squadron will also host a meeting with Chinatown business and community leaders, DOT, the Department of Environmental Protection, and the Department of Sanitation on how to best prevent and address the problem moving forward.  

DOT will repair two streets with some of the worst ponding conditions: Mulberry Street between Worth Street and Canal Street, and Baxter Street between Leonard Street and Canal Street. Improvements are also being considered on Mott Street between Worth and Hester, Elizabeth Street between Bayard and Hester, and Bayard Street between Bowery and Baxter.

“Ponding’s drain on the economy and quality of life in Chinatown is clear. DOT deserves credit for heeding our calls and turning my report into real action steps,” said Senator Squadron. “I look forward to working with DOT and the Chinatown community to make sure ponding is reported, addressed, and eliminated.”

In September, Senator Squadron released his report, “Road-Curb Ponding: A Drain on Chinatown,” and called on DOT to address the problem while improving agency-community collaboration to prioritize repairs and ensure reporting. Over the summer, Senator Squadron’s office documented the frequency and location of ponding in Chinatown and surveyed hundreds of local residents, business owners, and visitors on its impact.

Senator Squadron’s report found:

  • 93 unique ponds that had not drained within 48 hours;
  • 72 percent of survey respondents in Chinatown said that ponding negatively impacts their eating or shopping experience;
  • Two out of five respondents said that they are less likely to visit the neighborhood because of ponding;
  • 62 percent of Chinatown respondents rated the quality of streets as “below average” or "poor”;
  • 76 percent of respondents who have observed ponding said that they have not reported the problem, and 58 percent did not know who to contact or that reporting the problem was even an option.

The complete report is available here.


Media Contact: Amy Spitalnick / 212.298.5565