While building owners have a responsibility to clear away snow, ice, and other debris from sidewalks adjacent to their properties to prevent accidents, the Parks Department has a responsibility to prevent snow related sidewalk accidents in New York City's public parks. That obligation to clear away snow and ice extends to the pathways and bike paths on Parks Department property as well. However, a number of New Yorkers have complained to the popular street-safety blog, Streets Blog, that the Parks Department is failing to maintain safe conditions in the face of an onslaught of winter storms in the Big Apple.
With the redesign of many streets throughout the city to include additional space for pedestrian walkways and bike paths, the Parks Department has become responsible for clearing a large portion of the publically accessible land from snow and ice - just like private property owners. If the Parks Department fails to clear the snow or ice in a reasonably timely fashion, the Parks Department could be held financially liable.
Some of the areas of concern mentioned by StreetsBlog patrons include the malls along the middle of Pike and Allen Streets in the Lower East Side and the bike paths north of Division Street and south of Canal Street. Photos show significant snow buildup along the bike paths and near-impassable conditions in the pedestrian/cyclists malls mentioned above.
Sam Biederman, a spokesperson for the Parks Department told StreetsBlog that "Our first priority is to clear park perimeters to ensure safe access for pedestrians . . . interior paths of all types are a lower priority . . . ." He maintained that the Parks Department would be clearing paths "throughout the week."
If you or a loved one has been injured in a slip and fall accident in New York because of improperly maintained pathways, contact a New York City sidewalk accident attorney immediately to recover unpaid medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering for the injuries sustained in the accident. Call the Law Offices of Nussin S. Fogel for a free consultation at (800) 734-9338 or (212) 385-1122 to learn your rights.