Too much sun and not enough shade to keep summer weather in check, leaves break off leafy trees, and the resulting blackened soil and yellow trees becomes hazardous for pedestrians. The bird and weed-infested areas are dangerous for pets and visibility is compromised. A couple of years ago, the Observer’s Callie Campanian reported on sidewalk pollution that is resulting in an explosion of benches, benches and dog waste.
The path itself, the street, the sidewalk and the curb certainly qualify for “illegally established.” NYPD investigated over 100 possible violators in the period around the Second Avenue line, however only 12 face an order to immediately remove, eliminating the majority of offenders from “illegal” status. Just two were issued a summons, which comes with a fine. Fewer than 100 had their sidewalk cleared, so it should come as no surprise that there are so few “illegal” benches.
A city audit confirmed the issue and concluded that the city department which enforces park rules, Parks Enforcement Patrol, spends less than one-tenth of 1 percent of its annual budget enforcing rules, despite legislation that requires it to do so. Officials told the city’s audit commission that the Parks Department has stopped the use of trespass and loitering tickets on sight of an approaching patrol vehicle — which when assessed in Los Angeles and New York, often increases dramatically in severity.
Some enforcement has been increased, for instance, new Inspector General Philip Levine is investigating the city’s treatment of people with chronic lung disease, and a total overhaul is underway.