Curb cuts meant to help people with disabilities access Manhattan sidewalks are crumbling, obstructed, poorly made or completely nonexistent, according to a report released on Tuesday.
More than 40 volunteers from the Manhattan Borough President’s Office surveyed 1,367 locations where curb cuts are mandated by law along Broadway, from Bowling Green through Inwood, and only 1,209 curb cuts could be located and measured. The remaining 142 curb cuts were either entirely missing or obstructed by barriers.
On top of that, six percent of curb cuts led directly into a pothole, 28 percent were too steeply sloped to comply with ADA specifications and nearly 90 percent were missing the required “bumps” to warn vision-impaired New Yorkers of the presence of a ramp.
“If fewer than 10 percent of our curb cuts are up to code and accessible on our longest, most recognizable commercial street, we have a problem,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer, in the report. “The ADA’s 25th anniversary isn’t just a time to celebrate the progress we’ve achieved – it’s a time to double down on the work that still needs to be done to make our city safe, navigable, and welcoming for New Yorkers with disabilities.”
Brewer’s report recommends that the city educate property owners on their responsibilities and ADA requirements.