New York City launches coalition to enhance quality of life in Midtown Manhattan

Jim Dolan Image
Wednesday, July 3, 2024
NYC launches coalition to enhance quality of life in Midtown
Jim Dolan has more on the coalition's mission.

MIDTOWN, Manhattan (WABC) -- New York city is squaring off against issues that affect quality-of-life in the Big Apple.

On Tuesday, officials kicked off the Midtown Community Improvement Coalition. It's a multi-agency alliance aiming to create a cleaner, and safer business district in the heart of Manhattan.

The coalition will deploy teams for regular walk-throughs, keeping an eye out for things like substance abuse, retail theft and more.

The coalition will cover parts of Seventh, Eighth and Ninth avenues between 34th and 45th streets.

It comes amid quality-of-life complaints by New Yorkers, but visitors are worried too -- for their safety, and that has gotten the attention of Mayor Eric Adams, because tourists dollars matter.

"The first day I got followed by a homeless, and he was kind of telling me bad things. I was told you must not pay attention to them. It was kind of scary to me," said one tourist.

Crime is down in Times Square this year over last, but statistics do not encourage tourism if the tourist's experience is so much different.

"You can't just pick someone up because they're nodding, because they are high on narcotics. You just can't arrest them," Mayor Adams said.

The mayor says he's got several agencies, and the NYPD, working on cleaning up Times Square, but as businesses in the area will say, he's got work to do.

"Open air drug use is not helping anyone. We have 57 hotels, over 3 million visitors year in this area, and we get complaints from the hotels saying people are scared when they walk down the street and they see people with needles laying next to them," said Kevin McGinn of the Garment District Alliance.

But McGinn says the mayor has made progress in the last few months, responding quickly to hot spots that develop nearby.

The mayor starts from a basic crime fighting precept.

"It must be clean, it must be safe, and we must make sure that whomever is in the area is following appropriate rules," he said.


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