The City plans to allow 18 of these 32-foot tall Link5G towers to be installed on the UES | Upper East Site
The City plans to allow 18 of these 32-foot tall Link5G towers to be installed on the UES | Upper East Site

UES Lawmakers Team Up to Raise Concerns About Plan to Install Massive 5G Towers 

Federal, state and local lawmakers representing the Upper East Side joined forces on Monday to raise concerns about the City’s plan to install a slew of massive, 32-foot tall Link5G towers across the neighborhood in a letter to Landmark’s Preservation Commission, which will ultimately have to approve the construction in three historic districts for the project to proceed.

“The [installation] of massive cellular towers in historic districts is antithetical to the purpose of preserving these districts, as they are meant to have ‘coherent streetscapes’ that reflect particular historic periods and styles of architecture,” explains the joint letter, signed by Congressman Jerry Nadler, State Senator Liz Krueger, Assembly Members Rebecca Seawright and Alex Bores, City Council Members Julie Menin and Keith Powers, as well As Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine.

The 32' tall towers would house 5G transmission equipment and have a LinkNYC kiosk at the bottom
The 32′ tall towers would house 5G transmission equipment and have a LinkNYC kiosk at the bottom | NYC Office of Technology & Innovation

“We are concerned about moving forward with a project that will have a permanent presence without hard data to confirm the actual need for these towers.”

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Last November, the New York City Office of Technology and Innovation revealed plans to install 18 of the 32-foot tall antennas in three clusters around the Upper East Side, with two thirds of the Link5G towers to be located within Upper East Side Historic District, Expanded Carnegie Hill Historic District or Park Avenue Historic District.

Representatives for CityBridge, the company that operates the LinkNYC kiosks as well as the new Link5G  towers, told Community Board 8 last year that these locations were chosen by cell phone carriers to improve their 5G cellular reception on the Upper East Side, but did not provide any data to back up such claims.

CityBridge also has declined to identify their clients both publicly and in response to inquiries from Upper East Site.

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“Before [the Landmarks Preservation Commission] proceeds with the application, we request data and information regarding 5G coverage currently, and where service gaps may exist or are expected to exist in the immediate future,” the letter continues.

“It is always our goal to find harmony between the needs of the city and the need to keep our neighborhoods beautiful. However, there is still a question as to the necessity of these towers on the Upper East Side.”

Upper East Site reached out to the Landmark’s Preservation Commission, which acknowledges receiving the letter and says it has “not yet received an application for the 5G towers, but if an application is submitted, LPC will hold a public hearing and will carefully consider all comments.”

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