That old rhyme “step on a crack, break your mother’s back” might actually come true at a cracked sidewalk near a Co-op City school.
Local residents have complained for years about serious cracks in need of repair in a wide driveway leading into a school yard at P.S. 160 along the Hutchinson River Parkway.
They charge the city Department of Education has ignored their concerns.
Assemblyman Michael Benedetto held a press conference near the cracked sidewalk on Thursday, May 10 to address concerned residents and draw attention to the site.
“It’s been like this for too long,” said Josephine Acevedo, a concerned resident and member of the Handicapped Adults Association of Co-op City.
“It has not been fixed and it is very dangerous.,” she said. “You walk by here and you stumble. Somebody is going to really get hurt badly and we have a lot of seniors that use this sidewalk.”
Benedetto said he held the press conference because the protests to fix the sidewalk have seemingly fallen on deaf ears.
“After years and years of calling on this to be repaved, nothing has been done. We know for a fact authorities within the school have asked that this be taken care of, pleas from my office to the Department of Education have gone unanswered, and this is something that can not be tolerated.”
The assemblyman said P.S. 160 is home to a large physically challenged student population and Co-op City contains the largest senior citizen community, as well as the largest physically challenged population in New York City.
“They come walking by and rolling by everyday,” he said “This is open for all pedestrians to use. We also have a large senior citizen population residing here with many people using walkers or canes to assist themselves and they have to go over this bumpy area and subject themselves to this.”
Benedetto warned that the city may ultimately have to pay big bucks if the problem is not resolved.
“Pretty soon someone is going to fall and hurt themselves and that is serious enough,” he said. “But that is going to lead to lawsuits and the city is going to pay more money in law suits than if they would just fix the problem.”