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Queens Chronicle

Walk this way? It’ll take a year to fix

Good luck getting tree-damaged sidewalk repaired: comptroller

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Posted: Wednesday, July 3, 2019 10:30 am | Updated: 12:12 pm, Thu Jul 11, 2019.

The average wait to get a buckled sidewalk fixed by the city is over a year — if you are lucky.

A comprehensive audit of the city Parks Department sidewalk repair program released this week found repairs are slow to come, including one homeowner who waited 11 years for the pavement in front of his home to be fixed.

“This isn’t some frivolous notion,” said city Comptroller Scott Stringer, whose office conducted the audit.

“Our street trees are some of our most vibrant neighborhood markers, yet New Yorkers often have to wait more than a year for basic maintenance.

“That delay could be the difference between an accident and a safe walk or passage for a stroller or a wheelchair. We can’t wait until the worst happens.”

Responsibility for repairs to sidewalks damaged by the roots of streets in front of one-, two- and three-family homes falls to the Parks Department in most cases.

But the department has not come close to keeping up with inspecting damaged sidewalks after homeowners complain or with making repairs, the audit found.

Trip-and-fall lawsuits against the city from poorly maintained sidewalks cost $1.3 million in 2017 alone, the report said.

The city repairs about 1,000 sidewalks a year stemming from about 8,000 homeowner requests, the study said.

That difference indicates that in the overwhelming majority of cases, the inspector determines that the damage was not caused by a city tree.

But if it seems clear the city is responsible, the process of getting it fixed can be slow and drawn out.

The wait between filing a complaint and an inspector showing up to assign a priority rating to the damage is 101 days, more than 14 weeks, it was determined.

The Parks Department guidelines call for inspections with 30 days. It meets that goal in less than 25 percent of the time, the audit showed.

Work on repairing the sidewalk, on average, does not begin for another 419 days, nearly 14 months.

“According to NYC Parks officials, the agency has no target time frame for how long it should take to repair a sidewalk once it is inspected and found to qualify for repair under the agency’s priority-rating system,” the report said.

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1 comment:

  • Buster57 posted at 7:50 pm on Mon, Jul 8, 2019.

    Buster57 Posts: 66

    The city can't figure out how to fix these streets or trim the trees on THEIR sidewalks that are potentially in danger of falling down or are entangled in telephone/electric wires. However, they managed to trim MY trees on MY property that was NOT encroaching on anything as I have my trees trimmed PROFESSIONALLY every other year. NOW they are dying! THANK YOU VERY MUCH YOU IDIOTS WHO ARE SUPPOSED TO BE IN CHARGE OF THIS!