UPDATE New Yorker City dwellers, particularly those who reside in “historic” districts have pushed back hard against the city’s plans to install 5G poles in their neighborhoods. A recent decision by the Historic Preservation Office has declared that most of the units proposed for the Upper East Side have been canceled after failing a historic preservation review. As The Patch reports, many Upper East Siders expressed their satisfaction with this decision.
“I’m glad that the LinkNYC towers, which generated tremendous pushback in Carnegie Hill, have all been delayed or canceled,” said Assembly Member Alex Bores. “Each of these towers would only provide fast 5G coverage for a two block radius, so contrary to other claims, the effects are limited to the surrounding area.”
“Since the beginning, I have raised community concerns about the LinkNYC 5G towers being out of context with the surrounding neighborhood,” agreed City Council Member Keith Powers.
“New York City deserves better connectivity,” stated Joanna Cawley, Executive Director of Carnegie Hill Neighbors, “but massive, out-of-scale, and unnecessary sidewalk cell towers were never the way forward in historic districts like ours. We’re proud to have successfully made that case,” she added. “When Carnegie Hill comes together to protect our neighborhood, nothing can stop us.”
“When communities have feedback, we listen and explore alternatives,” said Jack Sterne, a spokesperson for CityBridge, City Hall’s partner in LinkNYC. He said it was a testament to how well the community outreach program is working and believes that New Yorkers do want expanded internet connectivity, but in an acceptable format.
The city’s LinkNYC program, according to The Patch, has been rolling out 5G expansion since 2022. While some neighborhoods are already connected, resistant residents have successfully challenged a number of the installations. A handful of cell towers are currently in the remediation process, giving the city time to seek alternative placement or solutions that will not put connectivity at cross purposes with New York’s historic integrity.