Sidewalks: Who is responsible for Sidewalk Repair in New York City?
Most sidewalks have not been getting repaired, in part because the liability for repair was ambiguous. Many homeowners assume that because the sidewalk is public property, it is the responsibility of the government to initiate the repairs and maintenance. For this reason, most cities like New York city place the burden for sidewalk maintenance and repairs on the property owner directly adjacent to the sidewalks responsible for repairs.
Of course, the Department of Transportation will get it immediately repaired, if the damaged sidewalk is causing or has the potential to cause injuries to community members. But if the property owner adjacent to the damaged sidewalk and various areas surrounding their buildings is responsible for the damage, they should pursue measures that would make the owners financially responsible for repairs.
The Purpose of Sidewalk Repair Code in New York City
Moreover, according to section 7–210 of the New York City Administrative Code, property owners must keep sidewalks in front of their property, as well as sidewalks abutting their property in a reasonably safe condition for public use. This means that apart from repairs your sidewalks must be clear of snow, ice, accumulation, vegetation overgrowth, and dirt. Due to injuries caused by cracked sidewalks and property owners’ failure to meet certain obligations, the primary purpose of this code is to exempt the City of New York from any liability.
Throughout New York City, the Department of Transportation is responsible to ensure that there are no dangerous or unsafe conditions. If they find anything wrong with the sidewalk, they enforce the law by issuing the homeowner with incompliance violations. And it is important to note that, it could be for a myriad of reasons, such as cracked or loose sections within the sidewalk, tripping hazards, improper slope, faulty patchwork, and much more. The property owner is still responsible for documenting the damage and ensuring proper repairs if a utility company or contractor damages the sidewalk.
The violation will remain open with the NYC DOT until there have been satisfactory repairs, regardless of who is responsible. Moreover, if the liable party does not perform the sidewalk repairs within 75 days, the NYC DOT will hire a private construction firm to complete the required work due to certain deficiencies in a building. In circumstances like these, the NYC Department of Finance will bill the property owner for the cost of repairs. If the sidewalk is damaged by a tree, it can be eligible for repair by the NYC parks ‘Trees & Sidewalks Program’.
There are countless codes, rules, and regulations in place in New York City and it is the duty of a property owner to learn them and comply with them whatever the situation is. Whether there are violations or not, it is important to understand that these ordinances help to keep the public safe. It is always best to reach out to a professional for guidance if you have any questions about codes, your sidewalk, or any other concrete work.
Maintenance Tips to Prevent Sidewalk Repairs & Violations in NYC
- Keep your Sidewalk Clean: It starts with keeping your sidewalks clean and well-maintained. Remove debris, water hose, and any spills, it can be done in a variety of ways. Plus, this is one of the best ways to save property owners from costly repairs and stay proactive with your sidewalks.
- Resealing Sidewalks from time to time: Resealing helps to extend life span while also protecting the concrete from damage from the outside elements. So it is best to keep your sidewalk looking great by resealing it every few years. It is best to reach out to a professional contractor who offers repairs and great options to ensure the job is done once, done right.
- Repair small cracks that can turn into big ones: Small spider cracks can eventually appear and turn into large cracks over time. However, you can easily use concrete caulking to fill the cracks and avoid further damage.
- Prevent deformities: If the damages are unaddressed for a long time, it can lead to more long-term deformities which might not be easy to maintain. For instance, if you have tree invasions it can lead to permanent uneven surfaces which could lead to serious pedestrian hazards down the line.
- Reach out to Professionals: Public infrastructure often decays invisibly. Sidewalks, however, decay right before your eye under your feet. Keeping your sidewalks intact in today’s times is not an easy task for business owners. Your best bet is to reach out to professionals who specialize in concrete repair!