The sidewalk around a vacant office on the corner of Lydig and Barnes avenues has been a serious threat to pedestrians this winter.
A former pediatric office at 2134 Barnes Avenue was left unshoveled for the majority of the snow storms the city has been hit with this season. Zive Pharmacy, located next door to the empty office, recently dealt with five of their customers, as well as employee Andrea Siegel, falling outside of the office due to the uncleaned walkway. The customers did not reveal their names, but are local residents that live close by to Zive Pharmacy. Siegel, who is also the vice president of the Pelham Parkway South Community Association, immediately contacted the landlord of the property to notify them of the accidents.
According to Siegel, she received a nasty response from an unnamed woman who answered the phone.
Joel Zive, owner of the pharmacy, was worried for the safety of his workers, customers and local residents. He contacted the offices of Assemblywoman Naomi Rivera, Councilman Jimmy Vacca and Community Board 11.
“Our customers had fallen on different days but it all started happening after the blizzard hit right after Christmas,” Zive said. “We know the storm was a big one, but the customers were falling weeks after the snow fell. We had to start making calls to officials because that one property was a threat to our whole community.”
Sandra Galvez of Assemblywoman Rivera’s office was able to contact the landlord of the property, Ismael Fernandez. Galvez said that Fernandez was aware that the property had not been shoveled and he revealed that he received several fines from the Department of Sanitation. According to Andrea Siegel, Fernandez immediately had workers take care of the snow on the property once local officials got involved. Along with Zive, Siegel was very pleased with how quickly the matter was resolved.
“You know it was bad enough that I fell really hard in front of that office,” Siegel said. “But after the phone call that I made and five of our customers that also live near here fell, we needed to get somebody to take care of this. Rivera’s office was very helpful in getting the landlord to clean his property.”
Siegel said that Fernandez has been trying to sell the property for over two years now. She also said that during the warmer months there are other issues, such as garbage and waste littering the property.
Zive Pharmacy hopes that Fernandez will keep his property cleaned in a timely manner should the Bronx get anymore snow.