Sunday, September 14, 2014

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NY1 For You: Slippery Manhole Cover Concerns Harlem Residents

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A manhole cover in Harlem has residents of the area concerned for their safety. NY1's Susan Jhun filed the following "NY1 For You" report.

It looks like just another manhole but residents in one Harlem neighborhood say it's an accident waiting to happen.

Maria Garcia, who lives nearby, is concerned.

"This particular manhole cover has a smooth surface so when it gets wet, particularly when it has snow covering it or ice, it is extremely slippery," Garcia said.

Elora Garcia is critically blind and lives around the corner. She is worried for other visually impaired people who visit her.

"I have a couple of blind people that come to see me. If they cross the street to my left they have to be extra careful of this corner," she said.

Those living in the neighborhood say they have seen countless people fall and get hurt, yet their repeated calls to 311 have done nothing to have the cover replaced.

"I've slipped on it," said one neighborhood resident.

"It might just be a simple issue of changing the cover, to one of these other covers you see around with the raised lettering on them that would create traction," Maria Garcia said.

After residents called us we did some digging and found that the manhole doesn't belong to the city. Instead, it's owned by Empire City Subway Company, a subsidiary of Verizon. A Verizon spokesman told us inspectors determined that the cover is in proper condition; however he said they will replace it to address the situation for neighborhood residents.

This is good news for residents who are happy that the slippery situation will be addressed.

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