Manhattan’s Upper East Side has a reputation for being one of the most well-to-do neighborhoods in the city.
With the lux apartments of Park Avenue overlooking Central Park, Museum Mile, and the famed, upscale shopping district running along Fifth Avenue, the area serves some of the highest incomes, though a diversity of socio-economic households and businesses can be found in spades. Home to Yorkville, one of the most economical neighborhoods in NYC, residents want to preserve rent-stabilized affordable housing and the surrounding mom and pop shops. In addition, while east siders are celebrating the long-awaited additions to the Second Avenue subway line, public transportation is still lacking as it doesn’t serve all populations. What are the biggest issues facing State Senate District 28?
Issue #1: Transportation
While the new subway stops have helped alleviate congestion from the terminally-crowded 4/5/6 lines, many denizens believe the local bus service still needs work. Locals have pleaded to the Metropolitan Transit Authority for select bus stops at 72nd Street and along 1st and 2nd Avenues, but to no avail, and elderly populations suffer as this mode is the most accessible for them. The city is not designed for an aging society: city planning and public transportation don’t consider a populace who may have difficulty with mobility without elevators and escalators, and commuting within the labyrinth that is the MTA subway can seem daunting. Can we build an infrastructure that works for all?
Issue #2: Preservation
It’s a seller’s market in New York City as real estate developers populate the city with new commercial and residential high rises at high prices, attracting wealthy buyers but leaving middle- and working-class people out in the cold. With these new high-priced buildings moving in, surrounding edifices must compete to keep up with rising rents, and historical landmarks are in danger of being replaced. New York is nothing without its history, and scrubbing clean buildings and green spaces for the sake of a new New York without culture leaves us with a hollow city. How will this community’s representatives work towards preserving the legacy of Old New York so that it can continue to tell its story to future generations?
Issue #3: Commercial Gentrification
As Jane Jacobs once said, successful neighborhoods are anchored by diversity in populations, businesses, and building types, and while brand-new high rises and convenience stores may seem like a godsend, this uniformity in novelty will lead to its downfall. An influx of chain stores that can afford rising commercial rents will only push out local small businesses who could never keep up, and pretty soon, rows upon rows of franchises create stale environs that people gravitate away from, through choice or through displacement. UES residents are worried by the real estate overdevelopment that leads to less affordable housing and businesses; will their State Senator get the balance right?
Will the State Senate District 28 representative address the growing needs of this community? Learn more about State Senate Democrat/Working Families Party candidate Liz Krueger and get informed about 2018’s New York State elections at racetorepresent.com.