One downside to our tree-lined streets is sometimes broken sidewalks. The agency in charge of sidewalks in New York City is the Department of Transportation. However, the responsibility for installing, maintaining, and repairing sidewalks falls on the owner of the adjoining property. If repairs are needed, DOT staff may inspect the sidewalk and notify the owner. If timely repairs are not made, the city may hire a private construction firm to repair the sidewalk and then bill the owner for the cost. In Brooklyn and Queens there is also an Expedited Sidewalk Repair program, in which case the owner chooses to have the DOT make the repair and then the City bills the owner for the cost.
Property owners are also required to keep their sidewalks–and 18 inches into the street–clean and free of garbage, litter, and weeds, as well as to clear snow from sidewalks.