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Queens Chronicle

Sunnyside pigeons forced to fly elsewhere

Mitigation system planned below three No. 7 elevated stations

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Posted: Thursday, August 1, 2013 10:30 am | Updated: 2:58 pm, Mon Aug 12, 2013.

Although polka dots might be in, white bird splatters on the suits of commuters are not.

Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside) allocated $250,000 from his discretionary funds to install pigeon mitigation systems under the elevated No. 7 tracks at the 46th, 52nd and 61st street stations.

“There is a war on pigeon poop being waged,” Van Bramer said. “This is a battle that we need to win.”

During the next three months boards will be nailed above pipes to cover convenient nesting and perching spots.

Metal sheeting will cover doorway moldings and other good resting spots and low- voltage wiring will rim the edge of the elevated tracks to create difficult and uncomfortable perches. The minimal shocks will not hurt the birds, Van Bramer said.

The two poopier locations — the 52nd and 61st street — will also receive a machine that emits an annoying sound heard by birds but not by humans.

The Health Department has been monitoring these dirtier stations and issuing fines to people who do not clean up unsanitary conditions created from feeding the birds. At the 52nd Street stop, disseminated bread crumbs has caused a rat infestation, Van Bramer said.

Sunnyside resident Regina Shanley, who has been “pooped on more times” than she can count, walks her dog, Woodside, in the area.

“I’m afraid he’s going to get sick from it,” she said.

Van Bramer answered questions on Tuesday as to if the project was a meaningful use of funding.

“I’m doing what my constituents want,” he said. “It beautifies the neighborhood. The pigeon crap doesn’t speak well of our neighborhood.”

And if the pigeons flee to other populated areas?

“We will follow them,” he said.

The space below the elevated tracks doesn’t just serve as a liminal space for straphangers, but over the last few months served as a performance space for the “Make Music New York” concert series and for a public art display that doubles as workout equipment at 40th Street.

Installation of the mitigation system has begun at the 46th Street station and should be finished at all three by the end of October.

CORRECTION: This article was corrected to reflect the following: Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer allocated $250,000 for various devises to deter pigeons from perching at three Sunnyside No. 7 subway stations.

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