Dinowitz cites widespread safety concerns, multiple attempts in recent years to address various locations in Kingsbridge, Riverdale. In letter to Dept. of Transportation, Parks Dept., Bronx Assemblyman calls for maintenance work on stone staircases, urges city to develop protocols for jurisdictional issues preventing quick fix.
In an effort to address a long-standing public safety hazard stemming from maintenance issues at tree-lined public staircases throughout the Bronx, New York State Assembly Member Jeffrey Dinowitz is calling on the NYC Department of Transportation (DOT) and the NYC Parks Department ("Parks") to make immediate critical repairs to the so-called "stepstreets." Assembly Member Dinowitz is also urging both agencies to develop new protocols for avoiding the jurisdictional issues that have long frustrated repair efforts.
"Thousands of Bronx residents depend on stepstreets everyday to travel to and from work or home," said State Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz. "Many of these stepstreets are a disaster, with crumbling concrete, trash and broken lighting that put our families at risk. The city needs to stop passing the buck between agencies and find immediate, lasting solutions to this dangerous situation before people get hurt."
In letters to DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg and Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver, Assemblyman Dinowitz called on both agencies to work together to resolve "persistent, serious maintenance issues" at stepstreets throughout the Bronx. Dinowitz writes that his office has received multiple complaints from constituents and has made numerous efforts in recent years to reach out to the city to request fixes.
According to Dinowitz, part of the city's well-publicized failure to resolve the issue stems from jurisdictional disputes over the agencies' responsibilities to maintain the concrete staircases and lighting fixtures. As a solution, the Bronx Assemblyman is urging both agencies to develop new protocols for how to best address the issues. This, Dinowitz argues, would allow the city quickly and efficiently respond to residents' and elected officials' complaints.
"We have over 60 stepstreets here in the Bronx. They're a part of our community's identity and are just as important as any other street. That's why finding long-term solutions to addressing regular maintenance issues is so important," concluded Dinowitz.