Replacement Slats for Seatless Benches Along Allen Street Mall to Arrive Next Month
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A true fix, albeit belated, is reportedly on the way for the seatless benches dotting the Allen Street Mall.
The update from Parks Department this week is that we should expect a remedy next month. “Replacement slats have been ordered and are expected by the end of September,” the city agency noted in a tweet about our story.
“Have been ordered” was the same verbiage used last October, with a promise for springtime delivery. That never happened. So, we’re not holding our breath on this, either.
It’s also worth noting that Asslemblyman Sheldon Silver has helped push Parks on this matter since the problem began. Here’s an excerpt from a letter dated August 12 to Parks…
I am once again writing to you about a problem at a popular park in my Lower Manhattan district. The Pike Street Mall, between South Street and Madison Street, is still in need of crucial repairs. The benches, which are a main feature of the park, are so badly damaged that they are unusable. It has been a year since I first notified you of the problem and I again strongly urge you to repair the benches in this vital community space as your department previously committed.
Again, this park was recently fully renovated, but the wooden slats that make up the benches’ seats have almost all been either broken or removed, making them impossible to sit on. With hot August temperatures here, this shaded outdoor seating could be a place for seniors to beat the heat and socialize, but instead it sits as an eyesore. In fact outdoor space is so needed in this area that some seniors have taken upon themselves to make the benches useable by using scraps of wood on top of the broken benches for a place to sit. My constituents ought to be able to enjoy the park as it was intended, with fully functional benches. I have again included a photo to illustrate the situation.
As we reported last year, Parks confirmed the initial shipment of benches was defective. Apparently the wood slats were so brittle that you could easily break with one hand.