The past decade has ushered in many serious changes for NYC, especially with beloved “old New York” slowly fading away.
From negatives like iconic long-lasting businesses shuttering their doors to more positives like improved subway service, it’s definitely a new, modern age for the city. The most recent “end” comes with the last of the pay phones in NYC.
Of course, since cellphones became so commonplace coin-operated pay phones have become barely usable. Since 2014 they have been transforming into “LinkNYC” kiosks, which provide WiFi and cellphone charging stations. Though most of the larger, actual payphone booths haven’t been seen in the city in a while, there are still many freestanding pay phones about. And residents have noticed—there is even a “Submit a Pay Phone Removal Request” online here!
Most of the remaining phones are located in the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood (on the West Side around 10/11th Ave in the 40s and 50s). The New York City Council along with CityBridge (an NYC tech mastermind which has been responsible for the LinkNYC kiosks) and NYC Department of Information, Technology and Telecommunications are working together to get rid of them this month.
They let us know about 30 payphone booths are expected to be removed by the end of March.
“Ninth Avenue in Hell’s Kitchen is one of the best spots in the City, but as everyone knows the sidewalks can be crowded and narrow at places,” City Council Speaker Corey Johnson shared with us in a statement.
“The antiquated and outdated payphone booths take up much-needed sidewalk space. Removing these booths is a win for pedestrians who navigate these crowded blocks. I want to thank the local residents who partnered with us on this and the Department of Information, Technology and Telecommunications for working with my office to address this issue.”
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