Since the Department of Transportation can't fix all the cracked sidewalks in the city at once, they came up with a new system in which locals can pay their way to the front of the fix line. First off, even though sidewalks are city property, they are the responsibility of homeowners, who can be held liable for injuries. When a homeowner is issued a violation, they have to repair the sidewalk via a private contractor, or through the DOT, which may take a while.
Times Newsweekly reports that the DOT "aims to have work crews repair defective sidewalks in most areas of the borough within 45 days of receiving a request submitted by a homeowner in writing or online. According to the agency, there are currently more than 5,000 properties" in Queens alone that have sidewalk violations. This may be why this new pilot program just launched in that borough.
The new Expedited Sidewalk Repair Program has raised the DOT's normal rates of $8 to $9 per square foot, to $11 to $13 per square foot ("Based on the average 200 square feet of sidewalk adjacent to a typical one-family home in Queens, homeowners could be charged anywhere between $2,200 and $2,600 if it is determined entire pathway must be repaired"). They note there's a similar program for the Parks Department regarding uprooted trees causing sidewalk damage... or you can save your money and call in Arnold Diaz. [via Queens Crap]