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 .
- What rules and level of service currently apply to sidewalks and roadways?
- Which agency is responsible for clearing obstructions on the sidewalk?
- 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 .