DA Indicts Broadway Murder Suspect; Gas Leaks Plugged; PO Boxes Slotted; Cops Grab Illegal e-Bikes

Citibank 96/Broadway Murder Suspect Indicted By Manhattan DA Vance
Matthew Lee, 50, was charged this week in a New York State Supreme Court indictment with Murder in the Second Degree (Class A Felony) and Robbery in the First Degree (Class B Felony). Lee was apprehended in the brutal beating murder of 87-year old Professor Young Kun Kim in the ATM vestibule of Citibank on Broadway and West 96th St on a Sunday afternoon in May. Full Story from Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance:
Professor Kim lived at West End Ave. near 100th St. Suspect Lee, who was last arrested more than 30 years ago, lives in a building on West 90th St., east of Amsterdam Ave.

After Plugging Thousands of Con Ed Gas Pipeline Leaks,
ULC Robotics To Exit Disruptive West End Ave Work By June 19th

We can all sleep better.
For the past several months, ULC Robotics, a privately held Long Island company has been sending tiny robots under West End Avenue to fix thousands of small gas leaks in Con Edison’s ancient gas pipeline system, here in the West 90s.

The center lane of West End has been occupied by ULC trucks, which launch their robotic army into the pipes to spot leaks, then seal them. Some of the Con Ed pipes pre-date the 20th century!

The good news is that by around June 19th, the job will be done, and the trucks will  be fixing leaks in other parts of the City. The pipe repairs are supposed to be good for at least three decades. 
Good News: Precinct Grabs 33 e-Bikes, Issues Summonses
Bad News: They’re Zipping Along A Few Hours Later

e-bikes are illegal, and the 24th Precinct is doing its best to enforce the law with the support of Mayor de Blasio. In the year-to-date, there have been 33 e-bikes confiscated, with 33 summonses issued. But more needs to be done! 
Both Upper West Side precincts say they are supporting the Mayor’s crackdown. However, the reality on the ground is that the ban taxes NYPD resources. An observer can see that e-bikes are operating right in front of the precinct on 100th St., zipping right past cops.
An e-bike confiscation involves tying up police officers for at least four hours per bike incident. It takes less time for the offender to go to court, pay the fine and be back on their illegal two-wheelers than it does for the arresting officer to return to regular policing.
Bottom line: there’s enforcement, but the precinct staffing isn’t there to effectively remove these dangerous two-wheelers. With many restaurants turning over their delivery to online services, it has become more difficult to hold individual eatery owners accountable for the actions of the e-bikers (and non-e-bikers). The solution is making it harder to return bikes to the streets, and perhaps using the parking police to issue more expensive fines, rather than tying up law enforcement.
Pedestrian Safety Updates:
City DOT Announces More Speed “Humps” In 90s – Will Protect Schools
Neighborhood in The Nineties is working closely with the Department of Transportation and Community Board 7 to eliminate seriously unsafe traffic conditions throughout our community. Here is a quick update:

  • Upper Riverside-DOT is still conducting studies in response to our request for:
    • Stop sign or yield to pedestrian signage at 98th St.  (for pedestrians traveling north-south, since 98th provides access for the Henry Hudson Pkwy via right turn to WEA)
    • Stop sign or yield at 99th, which is a major pedestrian crossing into Riverside Park and M5 bus stops on main Drive.
    • Speed humps 97 to 99th Streets, since vehicular traffic is using the service road as a bypass for Riverside main road north
  • N90s and neighbors will be meeting in mid-June with DOT turn signal specialists to address the dangerous situation where the Service Road and main Riverside Drive converge with traffic exiting the southbound Henry Hudson Parkway jamming into eastbound West 95th Street. N90s requested a turn lane and a turn signal, with bolsters to prevent car cutting the lane and placing pedestrians in peril
  • A letter from the DOT Manhattan Borough Commissioner to N90s President Aaron Biller announced that the City will install speed humps on 92nd Street and on 93rd Street, on the West End-Riverside blocks. Both blocks have Montessori schools. Presently, neither block has a slow zone near the schools. The request was made in 2014. It requires approval again from Community Board 7.
  • DOT informed N90s that there is a three-year waiting period to challenge the yield-to-pedestrians signage on the Riverside Service Road, 92-95. Presently, there have been too many close calls as cars zoom past pedestrians trying to cross into Joan of Arc Park. N90s is challenging this, based on a new entrance to Joan of Arc Park at 92nd designed by the Parks Department that surely will need a stop sign. Stay tuned!

News From Nadler:
Post Office To Convert All Corner Boxes To Slots This Summer
Following a letter by N90s requesting that neighborhood mailboxes from the pull-open flaps with handles to a new type featuring fixed narrow slots, we have learned that all Manhattan mailboxes will switch to fixed slots by the end of this summer, according to Clara Dorfman, an assistant in US Rep. Jerrold Nadler’s NY office.
N90s wrote to Congressman Nadler based on a pattern of brazen mail robberies at the large flap mailboxes. While this problem isn’t unique to our neighborhood, or the City, N90s has received many complaints from neighbors who posted bills with checks, which not only never made their destination, but resulted in identity theft fraud and emptied bank accounts.
Thieves are using sticky traps to brazenly fish out mail. Checks are then stripped of their ink and rewritten to withdraw funds. The stolen checks also provide such vital bank account info as account and routing numbers.

The NYPD even issued an advisory in 2016 urging New Yorkers to mail at the post office rather than use corner boxes. At the last N90s Police Night, the precinct commander suggested using buildings with inside mails boxes or going to the P.O.


More than 700 Upper West Siders attended the Second Annual La Fête de Jeanne d’Arc at Joan of Arc Park on May 30 to welcome the summer season and support the efforts of the residents-led Joan of Arc Statue Committee to make improvements to the park, which runs between 91st and 95th Streets along Riverside Drive. Attending the event were (L. to R.) Aaron Biller, President, Neighborhood In The Nineties; New York City Council Member Helen Rosenthal, and Joan of Arc Statue Committee Members Lisa Linden and James Panero.  The Committee is part of the Riverside Park Conservancy.            Photo Credit – Joan of Arc Statue Committee.
Learn morehttps://riversideparknyc.org/groups/joan/ and  http://www.newcriterion.com/articles.cfm/Gallery-chronicle-8324

And finally, R-A-T-S.
West Side Rag quoted from the Renthop Study of 311 rat complaints. The area served by Community Board 7 (59th to 110th Sts.) ranks 3rd in the City, following Bedford-Stuyvsesant and Harlem. Manhattan leads NYC with almost 200 complaints per square mile.

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