Sidewalk repairs and maintenance get a D-MINUS

Since 2003, the city has outsourced the maintenance of sidewalks to landlords and the results are appalling: according to an MCB4 survey 59% (and 68% Person with Disabilities PWD ) rated as poor or very poor City’s job of maintaining sidewalks . The numbers worsen to 62% of respondents (and 69% PWD) on the question of clearing snow from the walking infrastructure. They noted that 79% of the issues reported to 311 in normal weather were never addressed, despite being marked closed.

The 960 residents who responded were not shy about sharing their concerns : They provided 4,909 comments with much granularity in location and problems definition.And 10% of respondents were persons with disabilities (PWD) who consistently found the conditions worse, as they are more dependent on the right of way being clear and usable.

By far, the major concerns cited in normal conditions are ponding at corners (78%) and dirty sidewalks (79%), followed by damaged ramps and obstructions. In snowy conditions, ramps and corners that are often impassable (74%) and the delays in clearing bus stops and ramps were the most often cited. 67% of people with disabilities complained of bus stops being inaccessible, and three quarters of respondents observed that at least 25% of the block length was obstructed by snow. You can see the full report here .

In a strongly worded letter, Manhattan Community Board 4 asked pointed questions of the Deputy Mayor of Operations . Amongst them:

  1. What rules and level of service currently apply to sidewalks and roadways?
  2. Which agency is responsible for clearing obstructions on the sidewalk?
  3. A number of those complaints are not reportable to 311. When reported, they are markedclosed despite no action taken. How could this process be righted?

We had pointed out how inequitable the treatment of pedestrians is during snow storms . Now it is confirmed that the problem is larger and more prevalent, as our PWB friends all know too well. We are working with the New York Lawyers for the Public Interest (NYLPI) to advance this issue. Stay tuned .

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6 Responses to Sidewalk repairs and maintenance get a D-MINUS

  1. Miriam Berkley says:

    I agree with the points above. There has to be more oversight and white correction. And probably the city has to be much more involved in maintenance of sidewalks. During snow there’s often a small path on sidestreets that is walkable. Normally garbage bags on the streets block the sidewalks.

  2. Pamela Wolff says:

    Whose job should it be to make fire hydrants accessible in a snow event?
    The fire dept, the sanitation dept or the adjacent building superintendent?

    Our super shovels a pathway from the street to the hydrant but then the plow comes and fills in the gap.

  3. Concerned Neighbor says:

    I wish you had added the ever increasing volume of dog waste that is prevalent everywhere in NYC. There are signs stating a $250 fine for dog waste. Has that ever been enforced? I don’t think so. Seriously dog owners should not be permitted in any shape or form of using our sidewalks as their personal toilets’.

  4. Team Chekpeds says:

    good point . we included dirty sidewalks ..

  5. Team Chekpeds says:

    and that is the problem, the plows send the snow to the sidewalk when it should go the other way. Check this article

  6. Team Chekpeds says:

    right on

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