It’s only been a week since Community Board 11’s new district manager took over, but he is already working with local officials to improve the neighborhood safety.
Since last summer, Jeremy Warneke has been working with Edith Blitzer of the Pelham Parkway South Association to get Lydig Avenue stores to remove their merchandise from the sidewalk outside their stores.
“We have a serious problem on Lydig Avenue because the sidewalks are too small for stores to be putting their merchandise outside,” Warneke said. “Produce stores are allowed to put food outside, up to four feet away from the store, but we are dealing with some businesses who are placing large objects over five feet away.”
Lydig Avenue between Cruger Avenue and White Plains Road has narrow sidewalks compared to those of White Plains Road and when stores place items for sale outside of their stores, it creates very little space for pedestrians to walk especially after trees were planted on the sidewalks.
“The sidewalks on Lydig Avenue are not big to begin with,” Blitzer said. “After new trees were planted in the sidewal area, it made walking around the store items even more difficult. We have a lot of elderly people living in the neighborhood and all of the merchandise on the sidewalks makes it treacherous for our pedestrians.”
CB 11 has a zero tolerance for the stores placing their merchandise outside of their stores, especially with European Furniture located at 731 Lydig Avenue, which according to Warneke, is the store the community is having the biggest problems with.
The stores owners would not comment, but according to the Department of Buildings, the store has received several violations for putting large merchandise outside of the store in the past.
In 2009, a former employee of Assemblywoman Naomi Rivera, who asked to remain unnamed, was knocked unconscious after one of several mattresses outside of the store fell over and hit her over the head.
“I was walking towards White Plains Road and I was carrying several shopping bags,” she said. “The next thing I knew a friend of mine tried to get my attention to warn me, and all of the sudden, one of the mattresses hit me right over the head.”