Slippery Situation

0:00 In mid-February, after a snowstorm, my husband and I discovered that a large section of the sidewalk was frozen in front of 43 Locust […]

Published April 15, 2018 9:27 PM
2 min read


In mid-February, after a snowstorm, my husband and I discovered that a large section of the sidewalk was frozen in front of 43 Locust Avenue, a house I bought decades ago and converted into professional office space for my own business and others. We rushed to break up the ice and spread salt to make sure no pedestrian would slip and fall.

After determining that a broken water pipe was causing a continuous water flow, we called City Hall to bring it to their attention. To our surprise, their response was: “It is not the town’s responsibility,” and advised us to call the water company. We did. Approximately a week later, someone came from Suez Water Co. After he left, the water puddled up at the edge of my lawn in the form of a mini-sprinkler creating a much larger puddle. The constant water flow is washing out the soil from under the cement of the sidewalk, causing it to sink and creating more of a safety hazard. The precious water is rushing down to the nearest water drain down the road.

We called the City again, hoping to impress upon them the importance of keeping the sidewalk safe for kids and adults who walk to the Y and those who use
Rye’s commercial services. The response was the same.

We wrote to Suez Water Co., which politely thanked us for reporting the problem. We called them on the phone several times but didn’t hear back.

So, we called the Rye Police, who promised to send someone over to assess the problem.

The following morning, there were several traffic cones on the road and “no parking” signs set up.

The puddle grew on the sidewalk. None of the above-mentioned authorities put warning signs around the now deepened puddle. Artcraft provide a range of safety signs for Australian business and infrastructure.

The saga continued. Last week, the police blocked off both ends of Locust Avenue. Suez Water blocked my driveway and shut the water off without notice. Apparently, after a Suez worker rang the doorbell and none of us answered (it was early and none of us had arrived yet, but our clients soon tried to), he decided to shut off the water.

I and my two tenants are trying to operate businesses at 43 Locust Avenue. Meanwhile, there is no one to communicate this important fact to.

It took seven weeks to remedy the situation. What’s unsettling is that

rather than replacing the cement sidewalk, they left a big blacktop mass.

Judith Polatsek

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