Upper East Side For more than a month now, sidewalks along a three-block stretch of 2nd Avenue, from 68th to 71st streets, have been dangerously dark, without a single streetlight.
"I come home frequently on the 68th Street crosstown bus and walking on that street at night is terrible," said an Our Town reader, who alerted us to the blackout. "It's so dark. Once you get onto the block there's no way of getting out."
That stretch of 2nd Avenue is home to a cluster of construction command posts for the 2nd Avenue subway project. Temporary trailers and shipping containers line the east side of the street and create a long corridor on the sidewalk that pedestrians have no choice but to walk through. With the dark alcoves from street-level businesses and the absence of streetlights, it's a gambit walking the area at night.
"Walking on the east side of the street is absolutely perilous," said the reader.
The reader said she's been talking to the MTA and the NYPD for the past two weeks about the issue to no avail. "'Working on it' isn't an answer, it isn't a solution," said the reader, who lives at 2nd Avenue and 70th Street. "It would take them a few hours to string up temporary lights."
When reached by Our Town, the MTA offered this explanation: A spokesman for the authority said that Judlau, the current contractor, is in the process of installing additional lighting on 68th and 69th streets on the east side of Second Avenue. The 69th to 70th Street work zone was previously occupied by the muck house, which had additional lighting installed along the muck house building. With the removal of the muck house along with those lights, the MTA plans to install additional lighting as needed for the reconfiguration of this work zone.
"The work zone between 70th and 71st streets will also have additional lighting installed as needed," the spokesman said, adding that he is waiting for an updated schedule on when the work zone reconfiguration and/additional lighting will be implemented.
Repeated calls to the 19th Precinct last Friday went unanswered. Nick Viest, chair of Community Board 8, told Our Town that he's looking into the matter.