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Mayor Adams, DOB Commissioner Oddo Unveil Plan to Remove Unsightly Sheds, Scaffolding From NYC Sidewalks

July 24, 2023

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Overhaul of Construction Shed Rules Will Get Them off Sidewalks More Quickly, While Redesigning and Reimagining Them to Improve Public Safety and Quality of Life

Adams Administration Will Partner With Borough President Levine to Increase Penalties as Construction Sheds Occupy Public Space for Too Long

Adams Administration to Lead by Example and Pilot Netting to Replace Blighted Sheds at Queens Courthouse

Plan Delivers on “New” New York Panel Recommendation as Key Part of Midtown and Business District Recovery While Enhancing Public Space in Residential Areas

NEW YORK – New York City Mayor Eric Adams and New York City Department of Buildings (DOB) Commissioner Jimmy Oddo today unveiled “Get Sheds Down,” a sweeping overhaul of rules governing sidewalk construction sheds and scaffolding that will remove these eyesores from city streets more quickly while redesigning and reimagining those that are needed. These sheds, sometimes called scaffolding, can be a blight on public spaces and foster illegal activity. The “Get Sheds Down” plan will improve public safety and quality of life by removing them more quickly and replacing them, where possible, with more aesthetic or less intrusive alternatives, like safety netting, that keeps New Yorkers safe without creating blight in public space.

For decades, the rules governing construction sheds have incentivized property owners to leave them up for long periods of time instead of completing critical façade work that is often the reason the shed is up in the first place. As a result, New Yorkers are stuck with approximately 9,000 active, permitted construction sheds with an average age of nearly 500 days and spanning more than 2 million linear feet, or nearly 400 miles, about 3 percent of the city’s sidewalk space. Mayor Adams’ “Get Sheds Down” plan will change that paradigm — incentivizing property owners to expedite façade repairs and remove sheds with expired permits from public sidewalks. At the same time, recognizing the important safety function sheds can play when a building has an unsafe façade, “Get Sheds Down” will make traditional sheds more visually appealing when they are necessary and, where possible, replace them with effective but less intrusive alternatives.

“We have nearly 400 miles of scaffolding in New York City, taking up public space that belongs to New Yorkers and the millions who visit our city every year. Imagine visiting Rome, Tokyo, or Rio and seeing scaffolding everywhere. New Yorkers wouldn’t be happy with these unsightly constructions in other cities, and we shouldn’t be ok with them here at home. For too long, bureaucratic rules have stood in the way of progress, but today, we are turning the page and overhauling these rules from the ground up with our ‘Get Sheds Down’ plan,” said Mayor Adams. “This plan will flip the script so that property owners are incentivized to complete safety work and remove sheds instead of leaving up these eyesores year after year. This is how we reimagine our city, revitalize our business districts, and build a safer, more welcoming city for all.”

“The Adams administration is improving quality of life in every neighborhood, and the ‘Get Sheds Down’ plan will move that forward by unlocking public space all across the city,” said First Deputy Mayor Sheena Wright. “By removing sidewalk sheds and replacing them with alternatives like netting, we will transform our streetscape and deliver on a new vision for how a city can — and should — look. I am proud to be part of an administration that is moving our city forward and working to ‘Get Sheds Down.’”

“The Adams administration is hard at work as we remove the soulless green and metal structures that turn our beautiful streets into caverns,” said Deputy Mayor for Operations Meera Joshi. “A longstanding detractor from our streetscape, we are both going after those who leave scaffolding up for far too long and promulgating new standards that actually work with our streets instead of against them.”

“Today’s announcement, which delivers on the recommendations of the ‘New’ New York panel, builds on the city’s commitment to strengthen New York’s business districts and improve quality of life citywide,” said Deputy Mayor for Housing, Economic Development, and Workforce Maria Torres-Springer. “New York City is the world’s best place to work, and it’s only getting better as we make our public spaces cleaner, safer, and friendlier to pedestrians.”

“Sidewalk sheds are an important public safety tool to protect New Yorkers from hazardous conditions, but they are no substitute for proper building maintenance,” said DOB Commissioner Oddo. “When owners leave up a gloomy pipe and plywood shed for years, while repair work stagnates, they create a tangible negative impact affecting the whole block. This comprehensive plan will compel building owners to make needed repairs so sheds can be removed more quickly — improving public safety while also transforming how we think about pedestrian protection in our city.”

text reads, Get Sheds Down, on green background

“Get Sheds Down.” Credit: New York City Mayor’s Office

A tweet from Borough President Mark Levine, We are going to push through scaffolding reform in NYC so that we've reined this in by the time of Trump's next court appearance.

A tweet from Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine from April 5, 2023.

“Get Sheds Down” includes nine concrete strategies to improve public space and public safety, while protecting New Yorkers from the hazards associated with active construction and from buildings that have been allowed to fall into disrepair by their owners.

As part of the plan’s focus on replacing sheds with more appealing and equally safe alternatives, the New York City Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) will pilot the use of safety netting in place of a traditional shed for the ongoing façade work in front of Queens County Supreme Court at 88-11 Sutphin Boulevard, Jamaica, NY. The shed at this site was first permitted by DOB more than six years ago on April 21, 2017 — meaning it has been in place for nearly 2,500 days. Moving forward, in line with a new DOB bulletin, all city agencies will be required to explore safety netting for any construction project on a building owned by that agency or where they serve as project sponsor or construction manager.

In line with the “New” New York panel’s focus on central business districts, the Adams administration will target the initial expansion of financial penalties and regulatory oversight associated with sheds to one business district in each of the following boroughs: Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx. This strategic approach will spare smaller property owners from additional financial burdens, while realigning the financial incentives of façade work for property owners with more resources — and it will reactivate sidewalks and public space to help drive these neighborhoods and the city’s economic recovery, as outlined in “Making New York Work for Everyone.”

A plurality of sidewalk sheds across New York City are erected in connection with DOB’s Façade Inspection and Safety Program, the city’s program for compliance with Local Law 11 of 1998. Under Local Law 11, owners of properties higher than six stories — of which there are approximately 16,000 across the city — must have exterior walls inspected every five years and file a corresponding technical façade report with DOB. Buildings are then classified as “safe,” “safe with a repair and maintenance program,” or “unsafe.” If a building has a problem or defect that threatens public safety and is designated unsafe, the owner must immediately install pedestrian protection, such as a sidewalk shed. Pedestrian protection measures like sheds are required to remain in place by law wherever an unsafe condition is present that poses a life safety threat to the public. However, when construction projects stall and property owners fail to make needed building repairs in a timely manner, sidewalk sheds can languish in place year after year.

“As the manager of 55 buildings throughout our city, DCAS always prioritizes the safety of New Yorkers in and around our buildings,” said DCAS Commissioner Dawn M. Pinnock. “I am happy to support efforts to explore more appealing alternatives to the traditional sidewalk sheds that will maintain safety standards while improving the quality of life for New Yorkers.”

“DDC is very happy to employ safe alternatives to sidewalk sheds, when possible, in its public buildings projects and to work with DOB and others to reimagine what the standard city sidewalk shed can be,” said New York City Department of Design and Construction (DDC) Commissioner Thomas Foley. “This is an issue that has plagued New Yorkers for decades, and it’s important not just for quality of life in our dense urban environment but also for businesses that suffer behind sidewalk sheds that have been in place for too long.”

“HPD welcomes this exciting new era for scaffolding,” said New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) Commissioner Adolfo Carrión Jr. “Sidewalk sheds can be a sign of economic progress when it comes to new affordable housing or improvements to current housing in your community, but they can also be an eyesore and hurt small businesses that keep this city vibrant and a fun place to call home.”

“NYCHA is the largest public housing authority in North America, with 335 developments made up of 2,411 buildings, many of which are clearly showing the effects of decades of federal disinvestment,” said New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) CEO Lisa Bova-Hiatt. “The safety of our residents is our top priority, and we support the city’s efforts to explore safe, modernized, and efficient ways of providing the level of safety that sidewalk sheds have in the past in a way that better suits New Yorkers.”

“The SCA thanks Mayor Adams and Commissioner Oddo for providing us with the opportunity to look at fresh alternatives and new designs for sidewalks sheds,” said New York City School Construction Authority (SCA) President and CEO Nina Kubota. “The safety of our children and school personnel will always be our top priority, and I look forward to working with our partners in government and the contracting community to keep our buildings in a state of good repair while limiting the amount of time sheds impact our communities.”

“Sidewalks are an important part of the public space ecosystem. Transforming them to be wider, light-filled, and free from clutter and garbage will help ‘Make New York Work for Everyone,’” said Richard R. Buery, Jr., co-chair, “New” New York panel; and CEO, Robin Hood. “We’re pleased to see the administration take action on shed reform — Initiative 12 in the plan to revitalize and reimagine New York City. Today’s announcement is an important step forward in the effort to make our collective public spaces safer and more vibrant.”

“I am thrilled at today’s announcement,” said Daniel Doctoroff, co-chair, “New” New York panel; and former CEO, Sidewalk Labs. “In the ‘Making New York Work for Everyone’ plan, which was published by the ‘New’ New York panel in December, we recommended action to make reforms to sidewalk sheds. And now here we are, months later, with the city announcing meaningful, uniform policy that will maintain safe building practices, reduce the time that sheds are erected on our sidewalks, and help ensure that the city’s public spaces are clean, safe, dynamic, and inviting.”

“Across the city, there are examples of sidewalk sheds and scaffolding that have been up for years on end, a reflection of regulatory requirements that have not kept up with the times and building facades that are not being repaired quickly. The reforms the mayor is pursuing are an exciting step towards ensuring that sheds are up only as long as they need to be to keep New Yorkers safe,” said Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine. “Strategies like allowing design changes, increasing enforcement and civil penalties, encouraging buildings to make progress on façade repair, and exploring low-interest loans for buildings in need will make a difference. I’m looking forward to working closely with the mayor and Council on these proposals and to working with our city partners on the ideas further laid out in the ‘Shed the Sheds’ plan published by my office.”

Under “Get Sheds Down,” the Adams administration will deliver both a new look for pedestrian protection and realign the incentives of construction work to remove sheds from New York City streets more quickly:

Protecting Pedestrians Without Blight

Expanding the Use of Safety Netting – DOB will post an official agency Buildings Bulletin with specific rules governing the use of safety containment netting as an approved form of pedestrian protection that can, in certain circumstances, be used in place of a traditional sidewalk shed. Façade safety netting is currently allowed in the city but rarely used, in part because of the absence of a standardized design that can be easily replicated. The bulletin will be posted in 2023 and provide clarity to design professionals and building owners around how netting can comply with standard DOB specifications and provide adequate public protection. DOB will proactively engage design professionals and contractors across the industry to encourage broader adoption of netting.

The Adams administration will lead by example. First, DCAS will pilot the use of netting to partially replace a preexisting shed in front of Queens County Supreme Court at 88-11 Sutphin Boulevard, Jamaica, NY. Once the bulletin is posted, any city agency that owns a building or is sponsoring a construction project requiring pedestrian protection will be required to assess whether netting can be used. Only if netting is ruled out as a viable option will the agency be able to proceed with the implementation of a traditional shed.

Reimagining Sidewalk Sheds – DOB will issue a public request for proposals by the end of summer 2023 to solicit new design ideas from architecture and engineering experts to bring the ubiquitous pipe-and-plywood shed design into the 21st century. The agency will select new, alternative shed, netting, and carbon fiber wrap designs that are less obtrusive, more visually appealing, and still affordable for property owners to improve the pedestrian experience, while simultaneously offering critical overhead protection from any potential hazards.

Designs selected through the request for proposals process will be incorporated into the city’s Construction Codes — providing building owners and design professionals a range of more attractive pedestrian protection measures to choose from and replacing the plywood and pipe sheds currently seen across the city. DOB will aim to select, review, and implement these new designs by the end of 2024.

Redesigning Existing Sidewalk Sheds – As the request for proposals process plays out to redesign the sidewalk shed, the Adams administration will partner with other city leaders to make immediate, interim changes to the existing plywood and pipe sidewalk shed design. Aesthetic enhancements will require increased lighting under existing sheds, allow art to be installed on shed panels, and unlock more color choices for sheds beyond the hunter green color currently mandated under the city’s Construction Code.

Removing Unsightly Sheds More Quickly

Paying New Yorkers for Occupying Public Space – The Adams administration will partner with Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine to push legislation implementing new monthly financial penalties to building owners for most sidewalk sheds located in the public right of way that are not directly related to new construction or demolition projects. These recurring penalties would start 90 days after a shed is first permitted and issued monthly to the property until the shed is removed.

Under the current rules, many building owners can indefinitely delay needed building repairs and keep construction sheds on city sidewalks for years without incurring even $1 in financial penalties from the city. Today, smaller buildings not subject to Local Law 11 can simply renew their shed permits every year and keep the structure in place forever. Similarly, taller buildings subject to Local Law 11 can file for repeated extensions, allowing them to draw out the length of façade repairs and still avoid penalties.

This new proposed enforcement strategy targeting sheds occupying public space will plug the holes in the city’s existing enforcement rules by automatically imposing up to thousands of dollars per month in penalties for use of New Yorkers’ space. Under this proposal, the specific penalties will be assessed to the length of a shed at a given point in time, accounting for phased compliance and allowing for reduced monthly penalties as repair work progresses and sheds are removed piece by piece. Penalties would be capped at $6,000 per month, and to encourage property owners to complete repair work and expedite shed removals, penalties would be waived if property owners take the action necessary to remove the shed within an allotted time. One- and two-family homes, and buildings employing safety netting instead of traditional sheds, would be exempt from these new penalties.

Doubling Down on Central Business Districts – The Adams administration will work to impose additional financial penalties on building owners located in select business districts when they fail to meet key milestones on required façade repairs related to the Façade Inspection and Safety Program or Local Law 11. Under this proposal, property owners could be assessed a $10,000 penalty when a shed is in place due to an unsafe façade and the property owner fails to meet any of the following deadlines during the repair process: filing a repair application within three months, obtaining required work permits within six months, and fully completing repairs within 24 months. These three milestones would supplement existing monthly penalties issued by DOB when owners fail to make progress on façade repairs required under the Façade Inspection and Safety Program.

The program will begin in Midtown Manhattan; Long Island City, Queens; Downtown Brooklyn; and Grand Concourse in the Bronx.

Strengthening Oversight of Shed Permits – The Adams administration and the City Council will implement new fees for each renewal of a sidewalk shed permit and increase penalties for sidewalk sheds that remain in place when the relevant permit has expired. DOB will also move to reduce the duration of a shed permit from 12 months to 90 days, requiring property owners to renew permits four times per year to keep their sheds properly permitted. Additionally, DOB will no longer grant penalty waivers for expired shed permit violations, further encouraging property owners to keep shed permits up to date with the more frequent renewal schedule.

These more regular interactions with DOB require virtually no agency staff time while creating another financial incentive for property owners to complete façade repair work and allowing the agency to better track the progress of repair jobs across the city.

Targeting Longstanding Sidewalk Sheds – To address the scourge of sidewalk sheds languishing on city streets year after year, DOB will expand its Long Standing Shed program, which targets property owners with sheds that have been up for longer than five years and deploys additional oversight tools to compel them to complete overdue façade repair work. Properties in the Long Standing Shed program receive additional DOB scrutiny, which can range from regular site visits from enforcement inspectors to potential criminal court actions or affirmative litigation if they continue to disregard orders to make repairs to their buildings. DOB will expand the program to include properties with sheds that have been in place longer than three years — adding over 500 sheds to the universe and more than doubling the number of properties that will see earlier, targeted enforcement actions with the goal of reducing the amount of time these structures remain in place.

Properties in the Longstanding Shed program are also eligible for penalty waivers if work is completed and a shed is removed within an allotted timeframe.

Empowering Struggling Property Owners – The Adams administration will partner with Borough President Levine to explore the creation of a low-interest loan program to provide financial support for struggling, small property owners who lack the financial resources to complete necessary façade repair work. The program would be modeled after Mayor Adams’ Small Business Opportunity Fund, a $75 million fund administered by the New York City Department of Small Business Services that offers loans to eligible small businesses, with a focus on minority- and women-owned businesses and businesses in low- to moderate-income communities.

Reevaluating Local Law 11 Inspections – DOB will conduct a study to review the frequency of inspections under Local Law 11 and the Façade Inspection and Safety Program, and determine whether New York City can employ less frequent and/or less onerous inspections without jeopardizing pedestrian safety.

“I’ve heard from many constituents concerned about the blight of scaffolding on our streets that remain long after they have fulfilled their purpose,” said U.S. Representative Jerrold Nadler. “I applaud today’s initiative, which will improve New Yorkers’ quality of life by moving these sheds off our sidewalks more quickly and utilize innovative alternatives that are less intrusive to our shared public spaces.”

“The unveiling of the ‘Get Sheds Down’ plan by Mayor Adams and DOB Commissioner Oddo is a significant step towards improving our city’s infrastructure and enhancing the quality of life for all New Yorkers,” said New York State Senator Luis Sepúlveda. “Construction sheds have often been seen as an eyesore and have posed safety concerns. This comprehensive overhaul of rules governing sidewalk construction sheds will not only expedite their removal from our streets but also prioritize public safety and the aesthetics of our public spaces. By reimagining and redesigning these structures, we are creating a more visually appealing environment while ensuring the well-being of our residents. I applaud Mayor Adams and Commissioner Oddo for their commitment to a ‘New’ New York that prioritizes both the revitalization of our business districts and the enhancement of public spaces in residential areas.”

“‘Get Sheds Down’ is one of the most transformative initiatives to beautify our streets,” said New York State Assemblymember Jenifer Rajkumar. “Mayor Adams and DOB Commissioner Oddo will remove the sidewalk sheds, also known as scaffolding, so we can see the full beauty of the city streets and landscape. We will reimagine shed design and regulations, while ensuring that there is no compromise to our safety. Sheds will be unintrusive, aesthetically pleasing, and — best of all — short-lived. That translates to more sunlight and increased foot traffic to street-level businesses. It also means fewer spots for bad apples to congregate and less space for pigeons to perch. This plan will reclaim our streets from the nearly 10,000 sidewalk sheds hiding the charm of our city.”

“I’m pleased to see Mayor Adams partnering with us on an ambitious and forward-looking package of reforms to tackle our out-of-control scaffolding,” said New York City Council Majority Leader Keith Powers. “Scaffolding should not be the most prominent feature on our streets, and it should not stay up for so long that we need scaffolding for the scaffolding. This package of reforms will allow us to declare that the time has finally come to say: off with the sheds!”

“Scaffolding is more than a nuisance — it makes it harder for our small businesses to operate, blocks streetlights, provides cover for illicit activity, and obscures the most beautiful parts of our city. There’s no good reason for scaffolding to stay up for years on end without any action from the city,” said New York City Councilmember Shaun Abreu. “Removing scaffolding in a timely and efficient manner is a common-sense step towards cleaner, safer sidewalks. I am proud to work with Mayor Adams, Borough President Levine, and my fellow councilmembers to tear down hundreds of miles of scaffolding and preserve the beauty of New York City.”

“These sheds have not only been eyesores for years, but they have also served as hotbeds for criminal activity as well,” said New York City Councilmember Joann Ariola. “How many New Yorkers have had to feel uncomfortable walking through these darkened sheds late at night, wondering if a criminal were laying in wait for them? Fortunately, those fears, and the blight that these sheds cause to the aesthetic appeal of our city, will become a thing of the past thanks to this new program. I am glad to see these steps being taken, as they will undoubtedly contribute to the enhancement of public safety in the five boroughs.”

“I commend Mayor Adams and Commissioner Oddo for taking on sidewalk sheds, which have vexed the Department of Buildings for years and years,” said New York City Councilmember Gale A. Brewer. “As Manhattan Borough President, I pushed DOB to revamp their tracking and enforcement of sheds and was successful in getting some taken down. The current policies and procedures governing sheds are clearly insufficient. I am excited to see the redesigned structures where sheds are truly necessary.”

“Our city has suffered from the unsightly presence of scaffolds and sheds for far too long, but this policy marks a positive stride towards eliminating this visual blight,” said New York City Councilmember Robert Holden. “However, we must not stop here; extending the policy to encompass construction sites, green fences, and other building materials stores in public view would further enhance our efforts in beautifying our cityscape.”

“Addressing the issue of sidewalk sheds has been a top priority for me and my constituents in Lower Manhattan. I commend Mayor Eric Adams and Commissioner Jimmy Oddo for unveiling the ‘Get Sheds Down’ plan, which represents a significant step forward in tackling this problem,” said New York City Councilmember Christopher Marte. “By removing these sheds more efficiently and exploring alternative options, we can elevate the quality of our public spaces, improve pedestrian safety, and beautify our neighborhood. I look forward to partnering with the mayor and continuing our work to create a more vibrant and inviting city.”

“As the city expands its development at a rapid pace, ensuring the safety of our residents around construction sites is paramount. With little over 9,000 active sheds staying an average of almost 500 days, sidewalk sheds are here to stay with us. This does not mean we cannot make them safer and more efficient in fulfilling their purpose,” said New York City Councilmember Pierina Sanchez, chair, Committee on Housing and Buildings. “I am looking forward to exploring how we get there through this package of bills and beyond. I thank the mayor and Commissioner Oddo for their leadership on this matter.”

“In my district, construction sheds and scaffolding are not only a blight on the community, they also become a haven for illegal activity,” said New York City Councilmember Sandra Ung. “And in a busy commercial area like downtown Flushing, the sheds impede pedestrian flow and add to our already congested sidewalks. I am happy the city is focused on creating a less-intrusive alternative that will continue to ensure safety around construction sites, while also improving the quality of life for residents across our city.”

“Our city’s commitment to safety cannot end with protecting pedestrians and passers-by and then postponing indefinitely the remediation of building conditions. The responsibilities of ownership must include timely completion of façade and infrastructure work,” said Susan Kent, chair, Manhattan Community Board 2. “The city did not remove the elevated trains from our major avenues in the last century only to have scaffolds become a replacement system of caves and tunnels — we are grateful for the mayor’s attention to this important issue.”

“Scaffolding in place for years has been a source of complaints in Community District 3,” said Susan Stetzer, district manager, Manhattan Community Board 3. “We have businesses complain about lack of visibility or easy access that results in loss of business. We have had instances of scaffolding creating cover for crime, especially drug dealing. They are too often in place for years because the property owner does not cure a safety situation causing the need for a sidewalk shed. Having scaffolding in place only for necessary work being done would be a win-win for everyone.”

“The Times Square Alliance applauds Mayor Adams and the Department of Buildings for this overhaul of construction shed rules, as it is more important than ever to keep our public spaces clear and open for public use, and it will improve quality of life issues throughout the city,” said Tom Harris, president, Times Square Alliance. “In Times Square, we are seeing over 300,000 people a day come through, and these sheds create congestion and can create areas that don’t feel safe — this effort will help make people’s Times Square experiences much better.”

“As we continue to encourage people to return to their offices, I am very pleased that Mayor Adams and Commissioner Oddo are responding to longstanding community concerns about the blight of sidewalk sheds and the impact they have on small businesses and residents citywide,” said Fred Cerullo, president and CEO, Grand Central Partnership. “These new measures will establish design criteria to enhance the appearance of these structures and create disincentives so that sidewalk sheds aren’t up for any longer than they need to be.”

“We would like to thank Mayor Eric Adams and Commissioner Jimmy Oddo for addressing this important issue,” said Bob Benfatto, president, Hudson Yards Hell’s Kitchen Alliance. “The city has long dealt with unwanted scaffolding that has been the site of crime and is deleterious to quality of life.”

“On any given day, more than 25 percent of our district’s sidewalks and public spaces are covered by constructions sheds and scaffolding, creating a chronic and unwelcoming obstacle course for business, workers, visitors, and New Yorkers alike,” said James Mettham, president, Flatiron NoMad Partnership. “We can preserve the structural integrity of our buildings while ensuring that the spaces we all share are safe, accessible, and traversable. I applaud the mayor, his administration, our local electeds, and the ‘New’ New York panel for prioritizing creative and proactive solutions to everyday challenges that our central business districts need as we continue to put New York City’s best foot forward.”

“One of New Yorkers’ perennial complaints is the ubiquitous and seemingly eternal life span of scaffolding on our streets,” said Jessica Lappin, president, Alliance for Downtown New York. “These measures to shorten their hold on our sidewalks and improve their appearance will lift spirits and brighten our streetscape.”

“Downtown Brooklyn, like much of New York City, is beset by sidewalk sheds that have far outstayed their welcome — creating dark, dirty, and unsafe spaces that pedestrians actively avoid and that are disastrous for our businesses,” said Regina Myer, president, Downtown Brooklyn Partnership. “Rethinking the sidewalk shed program will help revitalize the public realm and neighborhood environment across the five boroughs. We applaud the Adams administration for their leadership on this issue.”

“The Long Island City Partnership applauds Mayor Adams and the Department of Buildings for their proposed sidewalk shed reforms,” said Laura Rothrock, president, Long Island City Partnership. “Safety is always the number one priority, but improving the sidewalk shed regulations will open up the streetscape and create a more welcoming public realm.”

“Street safety, especially when it comes to our city’s buildings, is a priority in promoting healthy and vibrant neighborhoods,” said Lisa Sorin, president, Bronx Chamber of Commerce. “The ‘Get Sheds Down’ program modernizes our approach to building safety and balances street life, business needs, and the ability to address quality-of-life matters. This moves us beyond the pandemic and toward a bright future for our city, its businesses, and its public spaces and sidewalks.”

“When ugly scaffolding goes up above a restaurant and it’s left up for months or years unnecessarily, their sales drop because customers are turned off by the unsightly conditions it creates, harming small businesses and putting jobs on the chopping block,” said Andrew Rigie, executive director, New York City Hospitality Alliance. “That’s why we commend Mayor Adams and Commissioner Oddo for unveiling a plan that will redesign the scaffolding eyesores and get them down faster.”

“Building a livable city is all about centering, and improving, New Yorkers’ experience of streets and public space. This is a great opportunity to do just that,” said Jackson Chabot, director of advocacy and organizing, Open Plans. “Sidewalks are among the most abundant public space we have, but scaffolding is plunging them into darkness for months and even years at a time. It’s unsightly, unwelcoming, and obstructs our right of way. Kudos to the mayor’s office and the Department of Buildings for prioritizing the mobility and comfort of New Yorkers who use our sidewalks every day.”

“We would like to thank Mayor Adams for his continued recognition that one of New York City’s greatest assets is its thousands of talented artists,” said Stephen Pierson, executive director, ArtBridge. “City Canvas enables us to fully activate this asset, transforming the city’s 340 miles of construction sheds into vibrant canvasses that serve to not merely beautify our city, but also capture each neighborhood’s incredible array of cultures, histories, and talents.”

“The professional engineering community applauds the initiative of the mayor and Commissioner Oddo to reform sidewalk shed regulations,” said John Evers, president and CEO, American Council of Engineering Companies of New York. “First and foremost, these sheds need to protect the public from loose materials. But they should not intrude on the sidewalk experience and not more or longer than necessary. We look forward to working with the administration to solve this issue and to preserving the vibrancy of our streets.”

“AIANY is thrilled to see Mayor Adams and DOB Commissioner Oddo taking action to reform sidewalk shed regulations,” said Jesse Lazar, interim executive director, American Institute of Architects New York (AIANY). “It is evident that reform is necessary to make the public realm a more vibrant and accessible place for New Yorkers, while also prioritizing safety. AIANY has played an active role in improving the design of sidewalk sheds, and we look forward continuing to work with the administration — along with the City Council, borough president, and other stakeholders — to reimagine how to improve sheds and get them down faster.”

“Sidewalk sheds protect the public from hazards that can occur on aging buildings, but building code changes are needed to ensure much-needed façade restoration work is completed in a timely fashion so sheds can be removed,” said Veronika Sikorski, president, New York City Special Riggers Association. “We applaud Mayor Adams and Commissioner Oddo for presenting this plan, and we look forward to continuing to work with them and the City Council to make common-sense changes that enhance safety and improve the overall aesthetics of these vital structures.”

“The plan set forth by Mayor Adams and Commissioner Oddo will go a long way toward maintaining safety, enhancing aesthetics and lighting, and getting much-needed façade restoration jobs completed expeditiously,” said Kevin O’Callaghan, president, Hoisting and Scaffolding Trade Association (HASTA). “Thank you, Mayor Adams and Commissioner Oddo, for your valued leadership. HASTA is proud to work with you on these much-needed changes for our industry.”


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