Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Bioswales or garbage pails?

From CBS New York:

Some Queens residents say new sidewalk gardens aimed at improving drainage may end up being more of a bother than a help, CBS 2′s Janelle Burrell reported.

The city is spending $2.4 billion to install more than 6,000 of the gardens, known as bioswales, throughout the five boroughs over the next five years. The gardens are engineered to extend five feet into the ground and can hold up to 2,500 gallons of rainwater.

Matt Mahoney, associate commissioner for intergovernmental affairs for the city’s Department of Environmental Protection, said that alleviating the demand on the sewage system will save taxpayers $3 billion over the next 20 years.

But Pat Kannengieser, who said two of the gardens are slated to be added in front of her Middle Village home, said she is worried she will inevitably be the one left to maintain them.

“I see them also as catch basins for litter,” she said.

The DEP said it is paying the Parks Department to maintain the plots, but Kannengieser said the city plans to clean the gardens just once a week.

Okay, these will be maintained by Parks? Does anyone believe that? They don't have the money to do routine maintenance in actual parks, never mind along the curb.


Anonymous said...

Why are we twisting ourselves into knots, bike lanes, huge tree pits on public sidewalks, now this crap, so that developers can build on back and front yards and take away greenspace from communities.

What does a million people in NYC do for you and me but add to congestion.


Anonymous said...

Why can't home and business owners maintain them like they do in the rest of the country?

The city should break up every paved-over front yard and present the owners with a bill. Give people a chance to do it themselves first.

Collect on delinquent fees when the house is sold. And then put up some multi-story parking lots! There's no parking in a lot of Queens!

Anonymous said...

This is one of the dumbest ideas the city has come up with.
Everyone knows they will not be maintained and cleaned.
The new ones over by Rego Mall are filled with trash and many of the plants are already dead. DEP needs to go back to the drawing board. It's a major waste of money!

Anonymous said...

So, the selling point of spending 2.4 billion is that it will save 3.0 billion over 20 years.

And just exactly what will be the maintenance cost over that twenty year span???

Anonymous said...

I'm fascinated how homeowners, who in previous generations would think nothing of keeping their sidewalk and garden and curb and street looking good, now whine that they can't do it. Just keep whining and let the shlt pile up. I'm sure it won't affect your neighborhood or your property value. Here's another idea-- don't want the responsibility and stewardship of being a homeowner and a good neighbor? Move.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand the point of putting these where green strips already exist. The siting is questionable.

Anonymous said...

I am the homeowner who spoke on camera for CBS2 News and I DO sweep and hose down my sidewalk and street weekly. I also, as a proud homeowner in Middle Village for the past 35 years, also mow, fertilize and weed my curbside lawn. My property is beautifully maintained.

What I am objecting to is the extra work these bioswales will create. Instead of sweeping or raking I will have to dig out other peoples 'trash'--cigarette butts, dog feces and used condoms. Not something I look forward to in my retirement.

I also worry about the addition of two trees to the front of my property where I already have a 40 foot oak. And that tree is pulling up the sidewalk as we speak.

Anonymous said...

The purpose of these bioswale gardens is to capture stormwater runoff and keep some of it out of the Combined Sewer Overflows that are polluting the City's harbors.

DEP is funding both the construction of the sites (by various agencies) AND the maintenance of the sites by Parks Department crews.

No new program works perfectly at the onset, however hopefully over time, New Yorkers will come to appreciate the plantings and take as much pride in them as residents in Portland and Seattle do. In those cities, maintenance is done primarily by homeowners / stewards, not by the City.

Unknown said...

BIOS-WALES = MORE MOLD AND DAMP BASEMENTS! I have big concerns with the implementation of this "Bio-wales". My home is located right next to the LIRR in Corona and the trains vibrations have caused cracks in the house old foundation and mold problems in the basements because of underground water to sipping thru the cracks. Now I'm pretty sure this Bios-wales are going to make things worse and increase the basements dampness, mold will cause more respiratory illness. So we are going to pay the price for the city's poor-conceived idea. I personally suffer from Asthma and having a bios-ware in front my house is not going to help me or my family with an alreadyjavascript:void(0) moldy-damp basement.