Sidewalk Patrol continues…

Here’s the second in what is now apparently a series by the Downtown Lynn Neighborhood Association’s Snow & Ice Sidewalk Patrol Unit.

First, let me disclose that I am your LynnHappens editor and president of DTLna, but I also want to be clear that I welcome all neighborhoods to send in their pictures and words of concern for a post on LynnHappens. Click on “submit” in the above menu to learn how.

One more thing I think I should mention before we start, is that this is in no way, shape or form an attempt to single out one or a few property owners. At the bottom of this post are links to previous posts on this topic that feature other properties, with various owners – even the MBTA (I wonder if they got a $50 fine?)!

Let’s start with a photo that captures both excellent and poor examples of winter sidewalk maintenance by two managed properties.

The clear sidewalk is in front of the Keith Building in Central Square, which is managed by Harvest Properties. Good job!

The job not finished is in front of a building owned and managed by the Mayo Group, though possibly now under their new name, “Advanced Property Management.” They operate under several names, now. Their best name by far is “Nighthawk Acquisitions,” which sounds like an awesome 80’s TV show. Anyway, it took aggressive efforts to get them to finally clear their sidewalk in front of their MV24 apartments on Mt. Vernon Street, and I guess they didn’t think the rules applied to all their downtown holdings.

IMG_0358

Next, we’ll take a look at the corner of Andrew Street and Central Avenue, where finishing touches are being put on a building that will house a dollar store chain.

This property is a repeat offender and the city has been notified repeatedly, in part because it is right next to the Olympia Square apartments, where many retirees and disabled make their home.

This is no way to treat your future customers. (I had to help that woman get her cart over the snowbank so she could use the crosswalk).

IMG_0359

The Andrew Street side is less traveled:

IMG_0360

Not being able to get anyone’s attention at the construction site, I contacted the company listed on a truck outside, “AHO,” through which I got in touch with the property owner. (If he doesn’t get it done, next time I’ll use his name.) He admitted to already receiving a fine, and said that if it’s a safety issue, the city should plow it. I reminded him that the city doesn’t plow sidewalks and that it’s the owner’s responsibility, to which he said he reached out to the company that does the Community Credit Union’s walks – Mannino – and hasn’t heard back. He said since I’m with the neighborhood association I should put him in touch with a company. More than happy to help, I gave him the number of a property management firm that handles a number of downtown buildings and does a decent job – the same Harvest Properties mentioned earlier. We shall see, He just got back to me as I was editing this piece to tell me Harvest put him in touch with the service they use, and they will do his sidewalks tomorrow! He also thanked me for putting him in touch with them.

However, I still feel compelled to mention that in our earlier conversation, the future dollar store’s property owner suggested residents of Olympia Square apartments could use the sidewalk across the street. Perhaps he just hadn’t seen that sidewalk though, so here’s a picture of it. I do not know the party responsible for this one:

IMG_0362

(That thing on the ground further down the path turned out to be squished beet!)

Previous posts on the issue:

Sidewalk snow and ice should be cleared

Letter re: importance of keeping sidewalk ramps clear

 

 

  • Jeff Carlisle

    That’s an interesting idea, Mr. Albaum. But as I see it, with Walmart and Family Dollar capturing a lot of the retail dollars in Lynn, a new focus is needed. Instead of more convenience stores and barber shops, the elected officials need to work on issues that keep the larger, quality businesses away, and then those businesses will attract others to service them and their employees.

    Crime, where perception and reality meet, in this case, has long been a reason why many businesses will not locate here. It is time that a Bill Bratton-style approach, community policing, be instituted. Quality of life crimes – graffiti, public drunkenness, traffic violations and the like – should be given greater attention. In this one area, government can influence business, not by regulation or taxation, but by setting the tone for the City. When residents and business owners see the City taking a strong stand in seeing this city move forward, then they will follow.

  • http://lynnhappens.com/ mediaseth

    Jeff, I’ve witnessed exactly what you’ve described in front of 84 Lewis Street. Downtown Lynn desperately needs a merchant’s association that consists of landlords and businesses that care, and that can peer pressure the others to show pride and participate in the community, as well. A merchant’s association is not the same as a chamber and the two can work together. If I had a brick and mortar business or wasn’t busy with a residential neighborhood association, I’d start it myself. It’s the only way to get things done!

  • Jeff Carlisle

    Mr. Albaum, this is a problem that you could highlight from the first snowfall up until the first blossoming crocus. Many residents and business owners believe that their responsibility begins and ends with only that portion of the sidewalk that THEY use. The result is that there is always the need for pedestrians to use the street as a sidewalk because of some very selfish attitudes. There is a multiple business building, 84 Lewis street, that has only a small patch of sidewalk, directly in front of their stairs, that is maintained; the rest of the abutting sidewalk is covered with ice that is at least two inches thick! This building is labelled as a “Professional Offices”. Well, the offices may be professional, but the building ownership and maintenance is everything but professional. Why would one ever treat customers, and potential customers. in this manner?

  • erin

    Our current administration seems to hold a pro-landlord (slumlord?) stance … the people should always come before business unless you want to live in Pottersville…landlord corporations should be taxed as the corporations they are and forced to maintain standards that don’t infringe on the city image or atmosphere.

  • erin
  • erin

    My fiance and I were fined 50.00 each for a snow ban when it wasn’t snowing and plows weren’t out until the next morning we were just about to move our cars it was Saturday most work mornings on weekdays they don’t bother to clear the roads we live on Euclid …guess the city punishes those who care about the town…and ignores those who are “drowning in their own detritus” kudos for fitting detritus in there ha ha…we’ve been painstakingly maintaining our corner lot sidewalks even though the city likes to use it as a place to dump snow wonder if they will fine us next for after they replow it in….may i add we are also painstakingly painting and fixing up our house ourselves due to lack of funds….thanks city for helping deplete them a bit more…Love these comments!

  • Katt

    I called,not sure who I talked to, and emailed the Public Works department.

    Update: I have been contacted by the Inspectional Services who have told me that a complaint has gone through and they will be sending and inspector out to take a look. I am hoping that something is done about this because this is not the first time they have done this.

  • http://lynnhappens.com/ mediaseth

    Thanks for sharing. I’m curious to know the departments or persons you’ve contacted at City Hall. Even if they can’t fix the problem (I wonder who they would fine for not clearing the bridge – maybe the state?), the least that can do is respond. Have you also contacted your City Councilor?

  • Katt

    You can add a Chestnut Street business to the cause of the problem. I took photos on Thursday night (2/20/14). Here is one of them. Because of this business plowing the snow on the sidewalk at the bridge, I have to walk in the street. I have come close to getting hit twice.

    I have also phoned and emailed the city hall with no results. Obviously Lynn does not care about the safety of it’s citizens.

  • http://lynnhappens.com/ mediaseth

    I was just in Boston and sidewalk ramps are cleared wide enough for wheelchairs, there. If Boston can figure it out, Lynn can. The city has in fact been fining residents and businesses $50 and it hasn’t changed a thing. It’s time to come up with a new plan. Stiffer fine? Education campaign? Not sure… maybe the fines can pay for mailers in multiple languages..

  • http://bookofrealities.com/ Kevin

    This does not surprise me, not even a little. What makes you think business owners will attend to snow when they do not clean up or sweep in front of their business, they do not do anything to clean, maintain or de-clutter their windows or facades and they allow abandoned buildings to go rotting with broken or cracked windows, graffiti and other detritus.

  • TamLee

    But they’re fining homeowner’s left and right. Nice. This was really entertaining to read too. :)