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Queens City Councilman: 'We Have A War On Pigeon Poop'

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- There has been a problem lately with pigeons – and pigeon droppings – at several elevated subway stations in Queens.

As CBS 2's John Slattery reported Tuesday, pigeons served the nation during wartime, carrying messages. But these days, all they carry is poop – and lots of it.

"In all seriousness, we have a war on pigeon poop," said City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-26th.)

Van Bramer has launched a move to defend his section of Queens from the so-called "flying rats."

"This is a battle that we need to win," he said.

He pointed out that droppings litter the pavement below elevated subway stations where transit riders are targets.

"It's piles of poop," said Regina Shanley of Sunnyside, Queens.

The train line is the No. 7, and has three problem stops – 46th Street, 52nd Street and Woodside-61st Street.

"So, at least twice a day, Sunnysiders and Woodsiders are forced to dodge pigeon poop as if they're dancing through rain drops," Van Bramer said.

Even the councilman, himself, said he has been targeted.

"When I was campaigning for City Council at 52nd Street, just a few blocks away, I was hit twice," he said.

Fortunately for Van Bramer, pigeons don't vote -- but people do. With that in mind, Van Bramer has launched a crackdown on those who illegally feed the pigeons in a nearby park.

He has also launched and a transit station offensive, putting metal caps over concrete shoulders to eliminate perches, placing nylon spikes installed over pipes, and installing low-voltage wires and ultra-sonic devices to scare the birds away.

All of that cost $250,000 from the councilman's discretionary fund.

"I think it's a lot of money to spend on pigeons," Woodside resident Jess Dunne said.

But some believe it is worth it. Ridership on the No. 7 line averages 500,000 people each weekday.

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