Longtime Bronx resident upset over alleged sidewalk violations

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Shirleen Allicot has more from Throgs Neck.

A sidewalk saga is playing out in the Bronx, as fines pile up against a 74-year-old woman who is responsible for what the Department of Transportation has deemed a hazard.

According to Assemblyman Mike Benedetto, the Throgs Neck sidewalk is not bad. In fact, he thinks the corner property on Randall Avenue is better than most.

"New Yorkers know what is good sidewalks and what is bad sidewalks," he said. "You can take a baby carriage and wheel the baby carriage down, and it will go very smoothly for baby inside. Wouldn't even wake them up."

Rosa DeBartolo is the homeowner, and she's wondering why she has to shell out thousands of dollars after the city sent her a violation notice citing her for cracks in the concrete and trip hazards.

"I want to talk to somebody to explain my things," she said. "I don't know what I have to do."

Benedetto and Councilman James Vacca are teaming up to help the 50-year resident of the neighborhood after she reached out to the city to get them to reconsider and only got more violations.

"You see hairline cracks that are not trip hazards, yet you see the major problem is where the city should've done its curb cuts and ramps all this time," Vacca said. "The city is judge and jury when it comes to these sidewalk violations. It's pay up, or else.

Longtime residents also seemed to think the sidewalk was OK, and it even stacked up against other sidewalks around the corner.

"What you have here is a good middle class lady who pays her taxes who is being forced to spend (money) she doesn't have for violations that are not real violations," Benedetto said.

The DOT sent the following statement in response to an Eyewitness News inquiry:

"We received a complaint of broken sidewalk on this block. As per our procedure, all properties were inspected for defective sidewalk on this side of the block and Notices of Violation for defective sidewalk were issued to 16 of the 22 properties on the block. We strongly suggest that property owners repair any defective sidewalk conditions they notice or are brought to their attention before we receive a complaint of defective sidewalk that warrant issuing a Notice of Sidewalk Violation. Property owners are also liable for sidewalk defects."

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