Bed-Stuy 'Dirty Streets' Tag Not Fair, Says BID Director

By Paul DeBenedetto on February 21, 2014 9:04am 

 Despite increased gentrification and picturesque homes like 526 Monroe St., Bed-Stuy has some of the dirtiest streets in the city, the mayor's office said.
Despite increased gentrification and picturesque homes like 526 Monroe St., Bed-Stuy has some of the dirtiest streets in the city, the mayor's office said.
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Dmitri Gibbs

BEDFORD-STUYVESANT — The city's playing dirty when it comes to rating Bed-Stuy's streets, according to an official.

The head of a local business improvement district in Bed-Stuy said the city unfairly maligned the neighborhood when it labeled the cleanliness level of about 15 percent of its streets "unacceptable."

In fact, the streets patrolled by the Bed-Stuy Gateway BID have never been cleaner, executive director Michael Lambert said.

"It's not the feedback we've been hearing," Lambert said. "It doesn't characterize the part of the neighborhood I'm responsible for."

According to a quarterly scorecard from the mayor's office in January, just 85.1 percent of streets in Brooklyn's Community Board 3, which makes up most of Bed-Stuy, were listed as acceptable at the end of 2013. During the same period in 2012, the score was 92.8.

The score was one of the worst in the city, as DNAinfo New York first reported.

But Lambert said the score doesn't represent the changes the BID has made on the long stretch of Fulton Street between Classon Avenue and Troy Avenue, or on Nostrand Avenue from Atlantic Avenue to Halsey Street.

The Bed-Stuy Gateway BID in February hired Block by Block, a community cleaning and safety company, to keep the area clean. In that time, the group collected more than one million pounds of trash, emptied about 10,000 trash cans and removed 725 instances of graffiti, according to statistics provided by the BID.

The most recent quarterly data shows that Bed-Stuy's score has decreased to 84.7. Although a monthly rating from January gives the neighborhood a whopping 99.2 percent acceptable rating, the city cautions not to put emphasis on one month of data.

"The most effective way we have found to assess trends in cleanliness is to compare figures for several consecutive months to those for the same months in the prior year," reads the website for the Mayor's Office of Operations.

The mayor's office on Thursday did not respond to questions about how the city collects street data or how street "acceptability" data is measured.

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