Good evening everyone. I am sure by now some of you have heard about the scaffolding collapse in Harlem. While this is not the first one, this is one where over a dozen people were hurt. Fortunately, no one was killed. The alarming thing is that, more people could have easily been in harms way. If this occurred at noon instead of around 9am, this would have been a completely different story. I went by the site this afternoon, and saw the level of damage. It was really nothing to play with. Anybody could have gotten caught up walking along.
There are some things that must be said here. First off, there are reports that the contractor has not been available for comment. Big surprise. There is a history of shoddy work being done up here, especially with these newer building developments. While some see gentrification as progress, the reality of it is that many are slapping these buildings together in mere months with little concern for safety or following regulations. It was that same strip of properties on 125th and eighth avenue that was so widely contested. Its almost like a confirmation of the collective suspicions of the Harlem community for this accident to occur here. Far from being concerned with people’s safety, the bottom line of the real estate industry in Harlem especially is to develop and profit off of these properties as fast as possible. Gentrification is not only ruinous to the Harlem community, but the negligence that comes along with its machinations is a physical danger as well.
Between this and the more frequent water main breaks, its painfully obvious that the city’s infrastructure is in terrible shape. This needs to be the bigger focus. We know that there is money, but all of it is going to those who already have it, not where its desperately needed.
What will it take before the people focus on needed infrastructural improvements?
Marc W. Polite