Saturday, February 6, 2010

Oops! Where Did That Blight Go? Sidewalk Cracks Are Just Too Damn Easy To Fix!

Ah! The ephemera of documentable “blight.” It is lucky that Noticing New York was around to provide photographic evidence of “blight” on Montague Street in the form of sidewalk cracks because now, with the passage of hardly a few days, we need to provide you with an update to tell you that some of the "blight" we carefully documented has already disappeared. Damn!: Who would have thought that sidewalks could be repaired so rapidly?

We have been writing a series of posts about the prevalence of sidewalk cracks in the city because sidewalks cracks are supposedly a characteristic of “blight” that can allow the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC) or any other eminent domain abuse-minded agency to seize and hand over entire city blocks to politically-connected developers who want to “redevelop” those blocks.

We previously wrote (supplying documenting photographs) about how, applying this criteria:
• The“blight”-qualifying cracks in the sidewalk are so ubiquitous that they can be found:
• Surrounding Brooklyn’s Borough Hall,
• Anywhere in Manhattan that you might glance down, and
• In prestigious Brooklyn Heights, running the entire route from the premier homes on the Promenade to Borough Hall, no matter the street you pick to travel, Montague Street, Remsen Street.
(See: Friday, January 15, 2010, Up and Down, "Blight" Is Everywhere: Just Glance Down “At Any Point” and Find “Blight” Smiling Back to You.)

• The homes and blocks where Atlantic Yards supporters Senator Charles E. Schumer and Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz live need to be condemned. (See: Thursday, January 21, 2010, Senator Schumer’s Block Is (Super) “Blighted”! (And Back to You, Marty).)

• Brooklyn Heights residents better start getting ready for a lot of demolition and zoning increases because with the two Brooklyn Heights blocks where there are Forest City Ratner-owned properties need to be condemned- - Lots of sidewalk cracks there too! (See: Tuesday, January 26, 2010, Forest City Ratner’s Two Buildings In Brooklyn Heights Need to be Condemned!)
We now provide this update to our first post from the series because on January 28, 2010, just 13 days afterwards, one of the "blighted" sidewalks we photographed for that post has been repaired! (See the photo of the repair at the beginning of this post and below is the photo that appeared, January 15, 2010, at the beginning of the post that was the first in our series, and after it a second photo of the repair.) Is it possible that property owners on Montague Street are reading Noticing New York and wanted to address the so-called “blight” we had documented?
The point is that, according to the ESDC, this quick and ready fix isn’t supposed to be the way that city residents deal with the “blight” of sidewalks cracks in their neighborhood. What ESDC believes should happen instead is that all the property on the entire block should be seized from the owners, all the buildings torn down and replaced by a politically-connected developer who will be assisted with extravagant public subsidies for which the developer will not have to bid. No matter, ESDC is still ahead in its determined race to find "blight" where and whenever it wants: Although this property owner on Montague Street quickly effected this repair the owner did not coordinate with the neighbors up and down the street (and on rest of block) to fix some of the other cracks we documented. . . .

. . . So according to ESDC, their property can still be wrested from them and torn down despite their vigilant efforts at maintenance.

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