Dear Ms. Demeanor: How can I get my neighbors to fold up their strollers?
My neighbors don't fold up their strollers when they leave them in the common areas, even though it is against the rules in my building, and they take up too much room. How can I get them to fold up? Signed, Anti-strollers, Not Anti-baby
This is not only a nuisance but a fire hazard. The fire department would not take kindly to strollers in communal spaces if they had to get into an apartment for an emergency. A note posted in the common area might help.
When I was a young mother with two little babies, I brought the children into my apartment one day after I returned from shopping. When I came back into the hall (minutes later) I could not find my stroller. Mrs. Pontes, the extremely efficient building super, had already taken it and put it in the incinerator room. That certainly taught me a lesson. I was just grateful that my children weren't in the stroller at the time.
I recommend a note that says that any unfolded strollers (or bikes, or anything else for that matter) left in the hallways will be immediately removed. Even if there is no fire, people could trip over these things. It presents a real liability to the building and it also does not add to the decor—no matter how fancy or expensive those strollers are. I would even go so far as to impose a fine on people who do not comply.
Dianne Ackerman is the new voice of reason behind Ms. Demeanor. She has lived in her Upper East Side co-op for the past 20 years and is the vice president of her co-op board. She is filled with opinions that she gladly shares with all who ask—and some who do not. Have something that needs sorting out? Drop her an email.