Serrano Outraged at Ongoing Disruptions to Second Avenue Residents and Businesses

José M. Serrano

March 24, 2010

Senator José M. Serrano (D-Manhattan/Bronx) today expressed his disappointment with the MTA and the Second Avenue Subway construction, after a recent announcement that tenants in six buildings on the corridor, between 92nd and 97th Streets, will be temporarily relocated due to structural concerns caused by the underground construction.

"I fully support the expansion of subway transportation on the East Side of Manhattan," said Senator Serrano, who represents this section of the Upper East Side. "However, the Second Avenue Subway project has caused an inordinate level of disruption to community residents and local small businesses, which begs the question- did the MTA practice the needed level of foresight when it came to the specifics of how this construction would negatively affect those who, for so many years, have given vibrancy and character to this community?"

This is only the latest in a string of inconveniences that has plagued this corridor, which has been an active construction zone since April 2007, with ever-extending deadlines for the completion of the plan.

"Every phase of this project has extended its timeline and gone over budget. As a result it's perfectly reasonable for residents to be weary of transit officials' estimates regarding the amount of time during which they will be displaced," said Serrano.

"The MTA must hold itself accountable, and realize that these folks have been exposed to dangerous pedestrian conditions, reductions in business, noise, dust and garbage pick-up issues. Uprooting and displacing families is not to be taken lightly, and this project cannot continue to be carried out on the backs of Second Avenue residents and business owners."

Serrano is the sponsor of two Senate bills (S1393, S3798A) designed to reduce the impact of the construction on small Second Avenue businesses by offering property tax incentives and by providing financial support through a grants program. The bills are carried in the Assembly by Assemblymen Micah Kellner (D-Manhattan) and Jonathan Bing (D-Manhattan), respectively. "I call on Governor Paterson and Mayor Bloomberg to support these pieces of legislation in order to ease these deplorable conditions," he said, "and I insist that the MTA organize their operation and start running this project in a more considerate and timely fashion."