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Frustrating Waiting Game Continues For Queens Residents With Damaged Curbs

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Residents in Queens want the DOT to fix their broken sidewalks and curbs. (credit: CBS 2)

Residents in Queens want the DOT to fix their broken sidewalks and curbs. (credit: CBS 2)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Residents want New York City to get the job done but on some jobs, they say the city isn’t budging.

Caroline Vereline has been calling the Department of Transportation for years about the damaged curb in front of her home. Unable to hold back flood water during a heavy rain, the curb has suffered from decades of neglect.

“The last time I called, they told me they’re backlogged 23 years and that’s like crazy,” Vereline told CBS 2’s Mark Morgan. “I’m here 54 years. These homes here have been built 62 years ago and the curbs have been built 62 years ago.”

Vereline showed Morgan the curb, which was cracked, broken curbs with complete pieces of concrete missing.

It is a problem that State Sen. Tony Avella says is rampant throughout Queens.

“We pay some of the highest property taxes in the country. We are entitled to have the city come out and fix the infrastructure, which is it’s responsibility,” Avella said.

Avella is calling on the city to provide more funding for curb and sidewalk repair and reduce the enormous wait time that residents are experiencing.

DOT officials declined an on-camera interview, but released this statement:

“While requests to address curb conditions outpaces available resources, DOT’s contractor works to make curb repairs as efficiently as it can. The agency will look to address this location when the contractor is next in the area.”

The DOT days it allocates $20 million annually to make repairs to sidewalks and curbs.

Some residents who reported curb complaints to the DOT say that they then received a violation for a defective sidewalk.

Patrick Lydon called the DOT for help with the curb in front of his house, which is, in some places, completely gone. He instead received a violation.

“If you complain, nothing gets done or they come around and they starting harassing everybody in the neighborhood,” he said.

“The city will say ‘we’re gonna take years to fix your curb,’ but that sidewalk violation ‘you’ll have to repair in 45 days,'” Avella said.

And for frustrated residents, the waiting game continues.

Have you experience similar frustrations in the city?  Share your thoughts in the comments section…

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