It’s no secret that scaffolding plays an important role in protecting people from falling debris from building construction. But it’s also no secret that scaffolding that is left up for extended periods of time has a devastating impact on restaurants and bars, ranging from a significant loss of business, to the reduction of employee hours and layoffs, to being a major factor in some businesses closing.
Last year, the NYC Hospitality Alliance conducted a survey of our membership, in partnership with the NYC Department of Small Business Services inquiring about the impact of scaffolding on their businesses. The responses demonstrated that when scaffolding is left up unnecessarily, it too often poses a significant and sometimes existential threat to our city’s restaurants and the jobs of New Yorkers.
This is why we support Council Member Ben Kallos’ effort to pass legislation that would regulate the length of time in which scaffolding may stay constructed, helping to mitigate unnecessary scaffolding that stays up for many months or in some cases years beyond its intended purpose. In addition to the current proposal, we suggest that the city establish a vehicle for which a business may file a complaint if they believe scaffolding constructed in front of their business is in violation of this law.
As we’ve said before, the wheels of government move slowly, and that’s why it’s important to have the NYC Hospitality Alliance in the halls of government advocating on behalf of our industry. But the wheels of government do move, and we’re encouraged that scaffolding reform has reached the next step in the legislative process. We will continue to advocate until scaffolding reform is implemented.