The DNAinfo archives brought to you by WNYC.
Read the press release here.

Crumbling Stone Crosswalks in SoHo Slated for Repair

By Andrea Swalec | September 6, 2012 12:20pm

SOHO — Broken and displaced street cobblestones in the heart of SoHo are slated for repair by the city's Department of Transportation after more than a decade of complaints by residents.

The DOT will begin work this fall to replace the granite blocks in eight crosswalks on Greene Street and Mercer Street between Canal and East Houston streets in response to "community request," a spokesman said. 

The announcement is welcome news for many SoHo residents who griped about perilously large gaps between loose stones on the streets, said Sean Sweeney, the head of the neighborhood group the SoHo Alliance. 

"I've climbed up and down the Grand Canyon and the foot-pass going down is safer than crossing in some crosswalks in SoHo," he said. "It's a disgrace." 

Community Board 2 listed the repairs among its priorities in a recently released budget request to the city.

"CB2 is greatly concerned that the present condition is hazardous, which could result in serious injury by a pedestrian," the document said. "In addition, in their present condition, the crosswalks appear unusable by someone using a wheelchair." 

George Jensen, a tourist visiting from Texas, said the crumbling crosswalk on Mercer Street just north of Grand Street was an example of how difficult some parts of the city are to navigate. 

"We have to really watch our step," said Jensen, 66, whose wife and travel companion, Molly Jensen, 62, walked using a cane. 

Sweeney said agency representatives told him in February that the work would be started in the spring, but no repairs were done. He said he was skeptical the city would make the repairs this time.

Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer and SoHo residents held a press conference in the neighborhood February 23 asking the city to repair hazardous crosswalks and install "Block the Box" markings to deter gridlock.