It's a long way up from Jerome Avenue to Anderson Avenue in the Bronx, and a long way down. But there is a more direct route to take, so long as you’re willing to put in some effort. Just take the stairs.
Jerome Slope, one of the city's 102 step streets, allows foot traffic on hills too steep to permit vehicular traffic. Every borough has them, but the Bronx has the most, coming in with a grand total of 64.
Nilka Martell of the community group "Loving the Bronx" says the step streets in the Bronx are concentrated in one part of the borough.
"The East Bronx is really flat. You come over to the West Bronx and you have a lot of elevated portions," Martell said. "And these are critical connectors for pedestrians and people in this neighborhood to get from one block to the other."
The city's Department of Transportation maintains the step streets, but the Sanitation Department is the lead agency tasked with cleaning trash and removing snow.
The DOT's unit for Sidewalk Inspection and Management regularly checks on the step streets, and responds to 311 inquiries and requests from Community Boards to determine if minor repairs are needed, or a total reconstruction. It can be a challenge. Some of the stairs are more than a century old.
"Most of them are granite, so it's hard to maintain them considering the amount they are used by pedestrians," said Marion Torres, a Civil Engineer Intern for New York City's Department of Transportation.
One thing is for sure, however. The step streets are fixtures in neighborhoods with elevated terrain. Some folks love them, and others folks avoid them at all costs.
Wondering where your borough ranks in terms of step streets? After the Bronx, Manhattan has the most step streets, followed by Queens, Staten Island and Brooklyn.