District News

Safety & Sanitation in Lincoln Square

Sep 8, 2022
Safety & Sanitation in Lincoln Square

The sunny, warm days of summer are almost behind us, and we look forward to welcoming students, patrons of our cultural institutions, tourists, and, of course, residents back to Lincoln Square this fall. This summer was a busy season for our Field Operations teams as foot traffic was up, largely due to the wide array of events, shopping, public spaces, and seating we have to offer here. (Click here to view photos and videos from this summer in Lincoln Square). Now that vacation time is over, most people are back in town, and we expect our streets will be even more crowded. Therefore, we thought it would be an opportune time to review how we handle safety and sanitation in the district.

Our Public Safety team, although currently understaffed, patrols the district for ten hours a day, seven days a week. Our PSOs act as neighborhood ambassadors, answering questions for visitors and locals alike about navigating the area. If you have any questions about where you can find our many shops and restaurants, they will have the answer for you. Additionally, they monitor quality of life concerns in the district, reporting things like homelessness and malfunctioning traffic signals to the appropriate city agencies. Our team also helps reunite people with their lost property, from wallets to phones to IDs. We have successfully returned eight items to their rightful owners so far this year! They also keep an eye out for other happenings in the district, like store openings and special events, and they closely monitor pedestrian foot traffic. In August, our pedestrian counts were up 29% from the same time in 2021 (though that is still down 56% compared to 2019).  

We also have an excellent relationship with the NYPD, which is key to keeping the neighborhood safe. We communicate regularly with our Neighborhood Coordination Officers (NCOs), Community Affairs Officers, and Patrol Borough Manhattan North to stay informed on current issues and events. We constantly share updates from the NYPD via our website, social media channels, and email distribution lists. Despite several well-publicized citywide crime issues this summer, our district, which lies predominantly within the 20th Precinct, remains among the safest in the city, particularly regarding violent crime. (Click here to view the NYPD Compstat numbers). However, if you do witness a crime in progress, large or small, please always call 911 right away; this ensures that the police are aware of the crime committed, can respond quickly, and follow up appropriately. Remember, if you see something, say something!

In addition to keeping our neighborhood safe, we work hard to keep it beautiful too. We maintain two small parks, Dante and Richard Tucker, 10 Broadway Malls, and 70 strategically placed planters throughout the district. Our beautiful summer plantings were installed just before Memorial Day, and you can expect to see a fresh fall installation in the next couple of weeks.   

Inevitably, more people walking means more litter lining our streets. Thankfully, our 14-person Clean Team is up to the task and can be seen consistently sweeping up litter and servicing the 115 trash cans in our district. The team has used 60,431 trash bags thus far this year, a 38% increase from the same period in 2021! If you enjoy the tables and chairs in our two parks, you have the Clean Team to thank for arranging them every day, too. We are also finishing up our annual street furniture and fixture painting. To date, we have painted 172 pieces of street furniture. While our Clean Team is very skilled, some spots and stains, usually caused by spilled drinks, leaky trash bags, and even urine, require a professional touch. Therefore, we have tasked Streetplus, our sanitation and area maintenance contractor, with performing a weekly pressure washing in Dante Park. 

Earlier this year, the Department of Sanitation and Department of Transportation selected us to participate in the Clean Curbs pilot program, which aims to help reduce the number of smelly trash bags that pile up on our streets. We are very excited to be part of this initiative, and you can expect to see our first two locations near 62nd Street and Broadway later this month!

We do our best to identify and resolve trash-related conditions in Lincoln Square as soon as possible. However, if you observe an issue you think we may be able to help with, or if you have any questions or suggestions, please call our office at 212-581-3774 or email us at info@lincolnsquarebid.org.


Photo by Elena Olivo