People in Chelsea were “perplexed” when 11 newspaper boxes (like Village Voice boxes) sat in the bike lane on Eighth Avenue for two weeks. Locals were confounded by the boxes, which are supposed to be on the sidewalk. Neighbors called 311 to complain. A neighborhood association contacted people in the area to organize against the “miscreant” boxes. Still, the boxes remained, taunting the innocent Chelsea residents with their obstructing presence.
Leaving aside the fact that this is the biggest non-event of all time, why didn’t the people just move the boxes out of the bike lane? How much do they weigh, 50 pounds? 75?
The boxes were mysteriously moved back to the sidewalk by an anonymous Good Samaritan and everything’s back to normal, you’ll be relieved to know, but it boggles the mind just a bit to think that all these people were organizing and complaining and calling 311 for a full two weeks and no one thought to just say to one another, “Hey, looks like these newspaper boxes are in the bike lane. Let’s move them.”
Since when are New Yorkers so un-self-sufficient? Since when do we depend on city agencies for every tiny little thing? A neighborhood leader told DNA Info, “It’s not our job to move them. It’s theirs. Obviously they’re completely dysfunctional. It’s going on two weeks! Obviously the people who put them there don’t even miss them.” “They” being the Department of Transportation, which deals with things like clearing bike lanes. In fairness to the DOT, New York did just prep for and then experience a massive tropical storm, which if you’re in a triage situation will simply have to take priority over lifting a handful of boxes onto a curb.