District News

Summer 2019 Quarterly Operations Report

Sep 19, 2019
Director of Operations Phil Gordon poses for a headshot in Dante Park
As Director of Operations, Phil Gordon (pictured) oversees both the LSBID Public Safety and Clean teams as they work to keep the streets of Lincoln Square clean and safe. This summer, the BID's teams have been busy addressing conditions on the street as they arise to continue to make a great neighborhood even better.
Despite being short-staffed by up to three officers, our Public Safety Officers faithfully observe and report on the quality of life concerns that affect Lincoln Square and act as ambassadors to the neighborhood through the season. They helped return 6 different pieces of recovered property to their rightful owners, including iPhones, wallets, tablets and gym bags. They warned 135 cyclists about riding on the sidewalk, and recorded 2,614 interactions with members of the public. While many of the recorded public interactions consist of giving directions, they also include directing people to safe crossings when emergencies or other unexpected events arise, such as the brief blackout the Upper West Side experienced on July 13, and the water main break in front of 1900 Broadway that occurred on August 22. There were 840 total incidents and conditions reported by our Public Safety team from June 1 through August 31, including reports of construction activity (30 reports), vendors observed in violation of regulations (41 reports) panhandling (70 reports), and garbage conditions (84 reports).
The most reported condition far and away was homelessness with 440 total reports, which represented 52% of all reports generated. Most of these reports stem from a population of homeless individuals in Lincoln Square whom our Public Safety Officers engage repeatedly, many of who refuse services. Our Public Safety Officers have observed as many as 6 people sleeping throughout the district on a given night. However, we don't believe this is a complete picture of homeless conditions in Lincoln Square.
With our partners in our Homeless Taskforce, including Goddard Riverside Homeless Outreach, the 20th Precinct, and the Parks Department, we have developed a replicable model for engaging homeless individuals in Lincoln Square and connecting them to services offered by multiple City agencies and non-profits. The Taskforce has conducted several joint overnight outreach operations this summer with Goddard, officers from the 20th Precinct-including the Special Projects Lieutenant Anthony Burgio and our Neighborhood Coordination Officers, Bridget Fanning and Rob Vasquez-and the NYPD's Homeless Outreach Unit. Through these joint operations and based on what our morning Clean Team members find in the area surrounding Dante Park, we know that many more than the six homeless individuals observed by our Public Safety Officers are coming to the district to bed down overnight. While we expect numbers to begin to decline soon as the temperatures start to drop, we have continued to push our partners to continue targeted outreach to homeless individuals in our district.
The summer months bring significantly increased pedestrian foot traffic to the neighborhood. Our Clean Team was up to the task of dealing with the additional litter and trash. Additionally, our Clean Team power washes at least twice a week to combat stains and odors under benches and on the sidewalk around the perimeter of the park, as well as spills and stains in our public spaces. We are also winding down our annual project of painting of street furniture and fixtures. To date we have painted a total of 165 pieces of street furniture including Broadway Mall barriers, traffic control boxes, streetlight poles, planters and pedestrian indicators.
Our Public Safety and Clean Teams work diligently to continue to make a great neighborhood even better. As always, we are dedicated to making Lincoln Square clean, safe, beautiful and fun for businesses, residents, and visitors to the neighborhood. Feel free to contact Phil at (212) 581-3774 or pgordon@lincolnsquarebid.org with any questions or concerns.