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Budget, Education & City Services

Community Board Five support for Phone Booth Removal and BID Efforts to Improve Street Congestion & Cleanliness

At the regularly scheduled monthly Community Board Five meeting on Thursday, October 10, 2019, the following resolution passed with a vote of 33 in favor; 0 opposed; 1 abstaining:

WHEREAS, New York City has hundreds of phone booths scattered throughout the five boroughs; and

WHEREAS, Societal & technological trends have led to a sharp falloff in phone booth usage over the past few years; and

WHEREAS, Many of the phone booths are in a drastic state of disrepair, with the phones inoperative, missing, and/or otherwise unusable; and

WHEREAS, The phone booths in their current state serve as a draw for undesirable activity, including (allegedly) littering, loitering, noise pollution, use and/or sale of narcotics, and other undesirable activities; and

WHEREAS, The aforementioned activities occurring at or near phone booths serve to inhibit pedestrian traffic, deface/mar the sidewalk infrastructure and community ambiance, and proliferate quality of life issues; and

WHEREAS, The impact stemming from these phone booths is of utmost concern to residents and businesses of the community; and

WHEREAS, New York City is cognizant of the problems posed by the phone booths, and has been undergoing a citywide campaign to disassemble all remaining phone booths, replacing them on a contractually mandated one-to-one ratio with LinkNYC kiosks; and

WHEREAS, Community Board Five, in collaboration with a number of Business Improvement Districts (“BIDs”), has identified 120+ phone booths located within our district, as laid out in the following list, with additional information provided in the “supplemental materials” document attached; and

WHEREAS, Community Board Five believes that pedestrian foot traffic, street cleanliness, community culture, and general quality of life would be improved if these 120+ phone booths were removed; therefore be it

RESOLVED, Community Board Five supports the efforts of the BIDs to maintain and improve the quality of our streets; be it further

RESOLVED, Community Board 5 requests that the city provide a timetable for the removal of the 120+ phone booths; therefore be it further

RESOLVED, Community Board Five requests that the 120+ phone booths be removed by year-end 2020, in accordance with the city’s previously stated commitment, and that NYC’s elected officials, administrative agencies, and BIDs work together in a collaborative manner to achieve this goal.

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