Queens Subway Stations Getting Ultrasonic Devices to Fight Pigeon Poop
QUEENS — Subway stations in Woodside and Sunnyside are getting $250,000 worth of state-of-the-art upgrades — to fend off bird poop.
Over the next three months, the 46th Street, 52nd Street and 61st Street stations will be getting a "state-of the-art pigeon poop mitigation system," that includes low-voltage wires and ultrasonic sound devices to keep the birds at bay, according to Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer.
He allocated capital funds to the MTA last year for the project, after hearing complaints from constituents who said they were getting pooped on en route to the train.
"At least twice-a-day Sunnysiders and Woodsiders are forced to dodge pigeon poop as if the'yre dancing through raindrops. But of course this isn’t rain drops, it’s pigeon poop," Van Bramer said.
"It's not only disgusting, it's unhealthy," he added.
The bird-fighting upgrades have already begun at the 46th Street station in Sunnyside, where the MTA has installed metal ridges and nylon spikes around the train station entrances and under the overpass to keep pigeons from roosting there.
Those will be joined soon by a sonic device that emits an irritating noise only pigeons can hear, as well as low-voltage wires on ledges that don't hurt the birds, but bug them enough to get them to get them to shoo.
"The pigeons don’t like them, and it keeps them from hanging around," Van Bramer said.
Those who live nearby say the train stations have been plagued for years by the birds.
Community Board 2 member Regina Shanley said she's been hit by bird poop at least four or five times while walking near the 52nd Street station in Woodside, which she says has it the worst.
"Pigeon poop is literally piling up," she said.
Van Bramer said the city is also cracking down on residents who scatter bird seed and other treats for the birds, which is illegal.
And food for the pigeons can result in attracting even less desirable critters: John Vincent Daniels Jr. Square in Woodside, for example, has been plagued recently by a rat infestation because of park-goers who feed the pigeons.
"Not only do we have a pigeon problem, but we have a rat problem," Van Bramer said, saying the city launched a "sting operation" to try and catch the animal-loving perpetrators.
"The Parks Department and the Health Department have been there for the last week catching people feeding pigeons, and fining them appropriately," he said.