Broken Sidewalks

How Can We Fix Broken Sidewalks and Improve Walkability?

Sidewalks play an important role in promoting walkability, increasing physical activity, and enhancing accessibility for people with disabilities. Moreover, well-maintained and aesthetically pleasing sidewalks can add charm to the city. 

New York has very strict rules and regulations related to pedestrian safety on sidewalks. But with time, these sidewalks can decay and decompose right in front of our eyes. Want to know why maintaining sidewalks is important? 

Let us discuss some factors that will help us get a better understanding of improving walkability.

Reasons Why the Sidewalk Might Get Damaged?

Sidewalks are made up of materials like concrete, asphalt, pavers, and brick stone, which can degrade with time. However, constant exposure to environmental changes and de-icing chemicals can lead to further issues like cracks, potholes, and uneven surfaces. 

Reasons why your sidewalks get damaged include:

Weather and Climate

Excessive rain, heat, and snow can damage sidewalks. When there is excessive rain or snowfall, water seeps into the concrete in places where the temperature goes up and down. Moreover, water can freeze and expand, which can lead to cracks in concrete. Hot and dry weather can also result in a freeze-thaw cycle. 

Tree Roots

Trees at the border of our sidewalks may look stunning but they can be a source of cracks. Growing trees seek out water sources, such as the moisture hidden beneath the pavements, through root expansion. The concrete may experience significant pressure from roots over time, which may lead to cracks.  

Poor Construction and Design

Sidewalks can get damaged and dull because of poor construction and design errors. Insufficient concrete thickness, misplaced joints, or unprofessional sidewalk repair contractors can all risk the integrity of the sidewalk and increase the possibility of cracks. 

Chemical Exposure

When chemicals like fertilizers, deicing agents, and oil spills come in contact with sidewalks, they can create potholes, cracks, and uneven surfaces. These chemicals can leak into concrete, weakening and deteriorating the concrete. The chemical exposure may cause surface deterioration and cracks over time.

These issues not only reduce the visual appeal of your property but also pose potential safety hazards. 

Consequences of Damaged Sidewalks on Walkability

Ignoring damaged sidewalks can decrease the aesthetic appeal of your property. Neglected sidewalks can cause serious injuries and accidents. Let's take a closer look at the impact of neglecting sidewalk

Legal Impacts

If you own a property in New York City, you are responsible for maintaining your sidewalks.  DOT is dedicated to giving the city's pedestrians access to sidewalks that are secure and well-maintained. 

Repairing the sidewalk is your responsibility. If you don't, the city's Department of Transportation (DOT) may investigate and send you a notice. If you want to  get rid of your DOT sidewalk violation notice, hire a professional NYC sidewalk repair contractor

Liability for Injuries

Damaged sidewalks are dangerous and unsafe for pedestrians. People walking on your sidewalks might get hurt because they are unsafe. Maintaining the sidewalks owned by the city is the responsibility of DOT. If a person gets hurt on the sidewalk in front of the building because it has not been maintained, then you may have to pay for any repairs or medical bills.

Property Estimate

If you do not take care of your sidewalks, it can hurt your reputation and the value of your home. Sidewalks that are not well taken care of can turn off potential buyers or renters because they look like they have not been cared for. This may eventually lower the property's value and make it difficult to sell or rent.

Community Safety and Accessibility

Sidewalks are very important for the safety and accessibility of the community. If sidewalks are not taken care of, it can be hard for people to walk, especially older people, disabled people, and parents pushing strollers. When property owners do not fix the sidewalk, they make the area unsafe and hard for everyone to get to. 

Ways to Fix Your Broken Sidewalks

Broken sidewalks not only look bad but can also cause serious injuries to pedestrians or kids using the sidewalk. 

Usually, there are a few steps needed to fix broken sidewalks, including:

  1. Determine the extent of the damage and the underlying cause (for example, tree roots, erosion, or age) to conduct an assessment.
  2. Depending on the severity of the damage, the available repair options may include patching, filling cracks, or replacing sections. 
  3. Installing root barriers or making improvements to drainage are two examples of preventative measures that can be taken to avoid further damage in the future.
  4. Inspect and maintain sidewalks regularly to identify and address problems at an earlier stage.


Fixing your sidewalks to enhance the walkability of pedestrians is a good idea. A well-maintained sidewalk will not only increase the value of your property but will also reduce the danger of people getting hurt. You can repair your sidewalk on your own or you can hire a professional like sidewalk repair.NYC to get your sidewalks fixed.

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