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The New York Bike Messengers Association has created a new campaign aimed at fostering productivity by rating whether or not a building sucks based on its bike friendliness and efficiency for messengers picking up and dropping off packages. The idea is for fellow package jockeys to tell the NYBMA “which buildings suck, why they suck and how they can not suck.” They then plan on sharing those results with building owners and messenger companies in a concentrated effort to try and unsuck the buildings. A NYBMA rep said they already recieved 15 submissions from couriers. After the jump read their letter explaining the suckiness, in particular targeting 450 7th Ave and 420 Lexington.


nybmabuildingcampaign.jpg
The New York Bike Messengers Association has created a new campaign aimed at fostering productivity by rating whether or not a building sucks based on its bike friendliness and efficiency for messengers picking up and dropping off packages. The idea is for fellow package jockeys to tell the NYBMA “which buildings suck, why they suck and how they can not suck.” They then plan on sharing those results with building owners and messenger companies in a concentrated effort to try and unsuck the buildings. A NYBMA rep said they already recieved 15 submissions from couriers. After the jump read their letter explaining the suckiness, in particular targeting 450 7th Ave and 420 Lexington.
To: The New York State Messenger Couriers Association
From: The New York Bike Messenger Association
Greetings,
We are writing to enlist your help in a matter of interest to both of our groups and the clients we serve. A number of buildings in Manhattan have adopted policies that interfere with the daily flow of packages. Many of these changes were implemented after 9-11 for security reasons. While we understand the reasoning behind many of these changes, some buildings have processes that are inefficient, sloppy and dehumanizing to messengers. Our pickups and deliveries are slowed down, our clients receive poor service; everyone loses. We would like to provide two specific examples and our suggestions for improvement.
450 Seventh Avenue- In trying to make this building safer, building management has enacted policies that contain double-standards that come off as insulting to messengers. We are required to enter through the freight entrance on 35th street but are allowed to exit via the regular elevators that empty onto Seventh Avenue, at which point we need to walk around the block to pick up our bikes. There are two problems with this system. First, messengers cannot quickly leave the building and are faced with the decision of taking a quicker elevator that lets them out further from where our bikes are locked. Second, it implies to us that we are second-class citizens. We propose a solution that would result in quicker transactions (thereby boosting profits for both messengers and our companies), increase job satisfaction for us and retain the security of the building.
The security measure taken at the freight entrance (a digital photo taken and matched against the courier’s own ID would be just as easily operated at the front entrance (and that is how it is done at some other buildings, such as 1040 Sixth Avenue). The front desk is not so busy that they could not handle the traffic, and the tenants obviously do not mind seeing messengers in the elevators. We would like to see this building treat messengers with more respect by either letting us on the elevators with the “real” people, or-and this would be the truly more respectful solution, as it would be more respectful of our time-they could set up an efficient messenger desk that would eliminate the need for messengers to spend unnecessary time in the building.
420 Lexington-This SL Green building has an ever-deteriorating messenger center that could work well with only minor improvements. The messenger center is small but comfortable and easy to access, both from the street and to the rest of the building. Some clients, such as Emmes, actually do not use the messenger center after having had constant trouble with the Bright Star internal distribution process. Instead messengers are escorted up to the 9th floor. Recently, Bright Star employees have been required to escort messengers up one at a time, and turnstiles have just been installed. With this arrangement, messengers are made to compensate for the building’s inability to properly distribute their packages. There isn’t enough staff to escort messengers and other delivery personnel upstairs, and this causes bottlenecks in the mailroom. These developments promise to cause no end of problems on top of the already constant chaos that exists at 420 Lex. The building needs to adequately staff and manage its perfectly sufficient infrastructure.
We are sure that such problems-and there are many others-come as not surprise to you. We would like to suggest a partnership wherein our groups work together to identify particularly difficult buildings and the problems specific to them and to develop some potential solutions. Then, together, we could approach our clients and enlist their aid in effecting some changes. As a result, the clients will be better served, your business will improve and expand, and our working conditions will improve. This is a potential win-win-win.
If you would be willing to work with us on this project, we would be happy to hear from you.
This Building Sucks Campaign NYBMA