The MTA is pledging to be a good neighbor to the dozens of businesses along Second Avenue that are being inconvenienced by the construction of the new subway line on the Upper East Side.
Michael Horodniceanu, the authority's chief of capital construction, says new fences, level sidewalks and better signage are in the works and could begin appearing in six to eight weeks. He says he'll start between 92nd and 93rd streets, where construction has been most intense, and move north and south from there.
Merchants along Second Avenue in the 90s -- where construction began about three years ago -- have been asking for compensation for lost business because it is hard for customers to find their stores due to the equipment and office sheds lined up along one side of the street.
Horodniceanu says future construction contracts will require contractors to take better care of their work sites. He predicts it might cost between $60,000 and $70,000 to make improvements to the existing construction areas.
Merchants along the way say they welcome the pledge but wonder why it's taken so long.
"These are all things that we've been asking the MTA to do from three and a half years ago," said Joe Pecora, the head of the Second Avenue Business Association and owner of an Italian restaurant, Delizia.