Two Manhattan lawmakers said they have come up with ideas to prevent scaffolding from staying up across the borough for extended periods of time.
Sidewalk sheds are required to protect pedestrians while buildings undergo facade work, but sometimes those sheds can remain in place for too long, Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine and City Councilman Keith Powers said.
"[There are] over 4,000 sheds in Manhattan alone. If you lined them up, it would go from here to Montreal," Levine said in an interview on "Mornings On 1" Monday.
"On average, they're out there for eight months each. But there's hundreds, over 200 that have been there for five years, and this is a blight on neighborhoods. The bottom line is the work to fix the facades has to be done more quickly."
Under their proposal, building owners would be given financial support to get repair work done if they cannot afford to do so. The city would also cut delays caused by the permitting process.
At the same time, they propose tougher penalties for buildings that fail to complete the work in a timely manner and creating changes to scaffold inspection routines.
Levine and Powers said they hope the policy changes will incentivize buildings to also perform long-lasting major repairs to facades, rather than frequent fixes.
No legislation has been formally introduced to the City Council.