8th St. problems were piling up

From The Villager, Feb. 8, 1973

A Page 1 article, “Crime and Garbage Top List of 8th St. Woes, Poll Says,” reported on a meeting to address downward-spiraling conditions in the Central Village.

“The Main Street of Greenwich Village,” Eighth St., was swamped with trash, and crime ran rampant through the neighborhood. A survey filled out by neighborhood residents indicated these issues were among their chief concerns for the health and well-being of the street.

In response, a local group, the Community Service Committee, convened a meeting for residents and merchants. At the meeting, Ed Peggi and Mortimer Matz, representatives of Nathan’s restaurant, expressed their interest in assisting the community in dealing with the problems.

Community members accused police of failing to successfully patrol the neighborhood, citing as factors, lack of manpower and the “quality of the patrol work itself,” charging that officers weren’t manning their beats.

At this point, the Community Service Committee had been holding weekly meetings to gather information and raise public awareness to combat the slow decline of Eighth St. Danielle Sandow, the chairwoman of the C.S.C., claimed that the meetings’ ultimate goal was to spur the actual residents of the street to take action and help fight the neighborhood’s problems. At the meetings, she said, there was an “air of moving forward,” suggesting that those who attended had a positive attitude about the possibility of turning around the neighborhood.

In addition to crime, at the end of the meeting, zoning issues were also raised. Separate groups were established to deal with crime and zoning, with future plans to create smaller subgroups to tackle specific issues.

T. Schoen

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