Recently, Mayor Bloomberg delivered his final “State of the City” address, which ended up serving as a cheery look back on all the accomplishments of the mayor’s career. The New York Times described it as “an unabashed and relentless tribute to his own municipal stewardship.” The Times thought it would be fitting to gather personal responses from readers on the “state of their blocks” to see if Bloomberg’s optimistic description of the city matched their own experiences.
While the results hardly matched the sunny picture Bloomberg painted, many were optimistic over the changes brought to Fort Greene, Washington Heights and Oakland Gardens in Queens. Closer to our area, Times reader “David” painted a grimmer picture, describing his block in Midwood in a harsh light:
Avenue L between Ocean Avenue and East 19th Street, Midwood, Brooklyn
The state of my block is unfortunately terrible. Since the peak of the market that brought me here in 2006 from Manhattan, the quality of life on this block in Brooklyn has only declined. Ocean Avenue is a raceway with little to no regard to the speed limit, or red lights; I have witnessed countless accidents. Avenue L is one of the few east/west two-way streets from Ocean Parkway, and therefore a thoroughfare of endless honking, radio blasting, and again little regard for the color and meaning of the traffic lights; only double-parked cars seem to slow down some. Real or ill-gotten handicapped placards show in every car window that disregards alternate-side parking rules, to ensure that the street is never cleaned properly, without threat of receiving a ticket; likewise, parking by a hydrant. Trash accumulates on the street and sidewalks, never to be cleaned by property owners, or the city. Graffiti is ever increasing despite the city program to curb it, as are illegally placed posters and handbills, the rules seemingly ignored and unenforced. Children over the age of 16 and adults careen on bicycles down the sidewalk without warning, especially at night, unseen until the last moment. Those sidewalks are never shoveled by most property owners when snow and ice make it treacherous to walk. That honking, it never ends, it seems obligatory, people honk to say “hi!” – David
I live nearby David’s haunts and I can personally vouch for every gripe he’s got. The sidewalks are littered with trash, dog crap and broken glass. The streets are filled with aggressive drivers, car accidents are a common occurrence, and honking is a major (and extremely annoying) problem — not to mention faulty car alarms getting set off during all hours of the night.
What’s the state of your block? Has it evolved for better or worse during Bloomberg’s reign and what do you attribute the problems to? We’d love to hear your feedback.