A tree root is causing a dangerous break in an East Village sidewalk, and residents are getting the run around about who is responsible for fixing it. NY1's Jon Weinstein filed the following report.
One resident called a sidewalk in the East Village with an uprooted tree "the Grand Canyon of East Fourth Street."
People in the area said they've been tripping over the spot for years.
"I think it's terrible," said one resident. "Anybody could fall break their leg or something. It's terrible. That needs to be addressed."
"It's definitely a hazard, especially for small children and the elderly as well," said another.
Many of those elderly residents walk with canes or other forms of assistance.
NY1 watched as people slowly maneuvered their way around and over the crack.
"It needs some fix, because somebody can die right there, fall on the floor, hit their head," said one.
"It's dangerous," said another. "Sometimes, you are so distracted that you wind up tripping on it, and it's quite disturbing, especially for the older people."
"Someone's going to break their neck on it," said a third. "Like in a minute, some older person, older than me is going to hurt themselves."
Residents said the sidewalk is always a problem, even on a beautiful day. They said it's at it worst during the rain and winter weather.
"Especially on a rainy day or a snowy day, you can really wind up in the hospital," said one person.
Neighbors said they've reached out to the city before, but they say their pleas have gone unnoticed.
"You know, try to contact New York City, call 311, they tell us what to do, and then there's just no follow up," said one resident.
"I've tripped over it many times with flat shoes on, and I just figure that, I don't know, the city doesn't really care," said another.
According to the city's Department of Transportation, it's the property owner's responsibility to fix the sidewalk. It turns out that the sidewalk sits in front of a city housing authority building. After NY1 told that to DOT, inspectors went out to take a look at what needs to be fixed. DOT said it'll start the process to make that happen.