The City is taking steps to cut down noise and traffic during the shitshow that is the LES after dark, according to Gothamist In a Tuesday announcement at the bar Max Fish, Mayor Bill de Blasio laid out a number of new rules and regulations that, in theory, could make life around “Hell’s Square” a little less, hellish.
The area — bound by Houston, Delancey, Allen and Essex Streets — has long been the site of debauchery and congestion (mainly idling car services), especially after dark on the weekends. A 2017 Hunter College study linked the nearly 80 drinking establishments in the area to a higher increase in crime and noise compared to other NYC neighborhoods. Residents are naturally upset, leading to the LES having the second-highest number of 311 noise complaints over the last two years.
It’s easy to say, “You live above a bar,” and, to paraphrase Mick Mulvaney, “Get over it!” But when your entire neighborhood becomes essentially a boozy theme park for the bridge-and-tunnel crowd at least three nights a week, there’s nowhere to escape, aside from moving out of the neighborhood. That’s simply not practical for most people, and certainly not fair.
The new rules look like a step in the right direction. Cars will be forbidden to stand on both sides of the street during the night, which should ease congestion and lessen car horns. Street sweepers will operate three hours later, from 3 a.m. to 6 a.m., which will clean up litter and trash that typically covers the streets the morning after. And the Lower East Side Partnership Business Improvement District (BID) will also provide additional cleaning services, including on Ludlow Street (which is outside the BID boundaries).
But will cleaner streets in the morning matter when you still have drunks puking and smashing glasses at 2 a.m. outside your window? You can’t legislate morality, so the city is rolling out a Nightlife “Night Owl” etiquette campaign to convince people not to shout while pissing in the gutter. The PSA will be beamed at revelers from the LinkNYC kiosks throughout the city. In our personal experience, telling a loud drunk to be quiet rarely ends in the desired result. We’ll see if the City has better luck than we did.
Of course, they could have thought about this before issuing so many liquor licenses in such a small area…