Less than 2% of NYC streets are filthy, Mayor's office report claims

A report from the office of the mayor of New York City claims that less than 2% of the city's streets are considered "filthy" by their metrics.

That number is raising a lot of eyebrows among New Yorkers, who are having a hard time believing such a number could be accurate.

The Scorecard program, which has been running for nearly 50 years, has city observers or inspectors visit city streets each month and give a score from "acceptably clean" to "filthy."

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The financial district and the Upper East Side top the list as the cleanest streets in the city, while areas like Morrisania in the Bronx and Bedford-Stuyvesant in Brooklyn fare much worse.

"You can't even walk to throw out your garbage because there's rats, it's disgusting," one Morrisania resident told FOX 5 NY.

So barely 2% of the city's streets achieving a filthy rating for all five boroughs came as a surprise to some.

"Those numbers do not add up, no," said one person.

NYC garbage pile

A pile of garbage sitting on the streets of New York City. 

New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli criticized the Scorecard program in 2020, writing in an audit that it is the city Sanitation Department's "sole performance measure for monitoring the sanitation operations."

The audit also questions the "drive-by approach" and the inspector's line of sight. 

Earlier this week, DiNapoli released a statement saying the Department of Sanitation needs to clean up its act.

A spokesman for the Department of Sanitation told FOX 5 NY that the new cleanliness agenda is working, but did not directly address the comptroller's report. They did, however, call the accusations in the audit incorrect.