New York City is home to some of the most gorgeous sights on the planet. However, one thing we can all agree on is that the constant scaffolding is a complete eyesore.
To combat the unsightly structures, New York City Mayor Eric Adams and New York City Department of Buildings (DOB) Commissioner Jimmy Oddo recently announced a new program, “Get Sheds Down,” to more quickly remove construction sheds and scaffolding from NYC sidewalks.
The previous rulings surrounding scaffolding actually incentivized property owners to leave them up—hence why facade repairs often take extended periods of time to complete.
Get Sheds Down intends to target longstanding scaffolding sites and business districts while “[flipping] the script” and encouraging property owners to quicken repairs and take down sheds with expired permits with the threat of financial penalties and fees.
There are currently about 9,000 active construction sheds, spanning nearly 400 miles across the city. Those sheds take up about 3% of all NYC sidewalk space for an average of 500 days.
“Imagine visiting Rome, Tokyo, or Rio and seeing scaffolding everywhere,” said Mayor Eric Adams. “New Yorkers wouldn’t be happy with these unsightly constructions in other cities, and we shouldn’t be ok with them here at home.”
While sheds and scaffolding will remain necessary for some repairs and public safety, Get Sheds Down will ensure more visually appealing and “less intrusive alternatives” when possible.
One way the city will be implementing this is with safety netting. The New York City Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) will start with replacing the preexisting shed in front of the Queens County Supreme Court with one.
“Sidewalks are an important part of the public space ecosystem. Transforming them to be wider, light-filled, and free from clutter and garbage will help ‘Make New York Work for Everyone,’” said Richard R. Buery, Jr., co-chair, “New” New York panel; and CEO, Robin Hood.
By the end of the summer, DOB will issue a public request for proposals on new designs for sidewalk sheds. The Adams administration will also work to improve current existing sidewalk sheds by adding art to the panels, increasing lighting and allowing more color options beyond the city mandated hunter green.
Find out even more about Get Sheds Down here.