Eyes on the Street: Sidewalk Sinkhole in Sunset Park


A reader sent in these photos of a sidewalk cave-in next to the office of Assembly member Felix W. Ortiz, on Fourth Avenue and 55th Street in Sunset Park:

Over the weekend, a bunch of neighbors called in the ominous crack in the sidewalk to 311 (resulting in tape! And a safety horse!), and this morning that crack became a gaping sinkhole. Luckily no one appears to have been injured.

Here’s what the sidewalk looked like after the slab began to buckle, a situation that festered for a few days:


I don’t want to extrapolate too much from one incident, but maybe it wouldn’t take so long to repair NYC sidewalks if the state DOT were releasing the federal funds they’re supposed to send to the city — a story we’ll be taking a closer look at here on Streetsblog.

  • csm

    Repairing damage to streets and sidewalks isn’t a priority for the DOT, state funds or no. In my neighborhood, a trench about 2 inches deep, ten feet wide, was opened due to construction. The DOT did fill most of it in, but they left three feet of the trench on one side completely exposed.

  • Actually, I’ve found that DoT has kept to its “30 day promise” with respect to repairing potholes in the street that I’ve reported. It may be that just the sidewalks are neglected.

  • Could it be that Ortiz just went from office to SUV, and SUV to office, and never even noticed? Just wondering.

  • tom murphy

    The workmen are just finishing a similar break at 53rd Street. I remember one at 44th Street as well. All on the east side of 4th Avenue and all, I believe, involve broken sewer pipes. Sinkholes occur when the supporting ground soil is washed away by intruding water.
    Remember that the sewer pipes along this avenue are under the side-walk due to subway tunnel just under the surface of the roadway.
    All of 4th Ave., Prospect to 65th Street, needs to be checked for potential sinkholes.


Where to Park a Vespa in NYC?

While the city is awash in places to park cars on the street and there is some provision for cyclists to park on sidewalks in some places, deciding where to park a Vespa is a difficult choice. Leave it on the street (like the photo above) where some automobile driver will inevitably hit it while trying to […]

Van Bramer to Car Dealers: Stop Hogging Northern Boulevard Sidewalks

Walking the car-clogged sidewalks of Northern Boulevard this morning with street safety advocates and press in tow, Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer called on two NYPD precincts to crack down on auto dealerships that treat pedestrian space as car showrooms. “They have a right to make money,” Van Bramer said of the dealerships. “But they do not have a […]

Today’s Headlines

De Blasio Claims Horse Carriage Deal Will Reduce Midtown Congestion (Politico, Observer, NYT, News) The Post Roots for the Destruction of the Pedicab Industry Here Are the Really Big Cuomo War Chest Suppliers (Politico) Family Mourns Thomas McAnulty, 73, and Seeks Answers NYPD Isn’t Providing (DNA, News) Just Another Day of Reckless Driving and Fleeing the Scene in Brooklyn (News, DNA, Bklyn Paper […]

Positively 3rd Street

Strolling up 3rd Street in Park Slope from 7th Avenue toward Prospect Park, it’s easy to see this is one of the most magnificent streets in what is, let’s face it, one of the prettiest neighborhoods in the city. The homes, built in the late 19th century and often clad in white stone, are set […]