Cracked Sidewalks: A Safety Hazard

By Della Jordan

Photo Credit: Della Jordan

The current state of the sidewalks here at the CSI campus is very unsafe; they are not maintained with care and respect to the students and staff that work here.

Many are broken up and not, by any means, suitable or safe for anyone.  I’ve been across the campus, and I see cracks all over. 

For me, a wheelchair user, there is sometimes no way of getting around them. I currently have a class in 2S and there are unavoidable cracks and broken concrete in front at the entrance.

It’s dangerous and accidents will occur; although I do not have any facts about this, I’m sure there have been incidents in the past. As a wheelchair user, I’m afraid of getting stuck, damaging my chair or getting hurt. 

By the end of each semester, I need new wheels because they are ruined. 

I have seen some improvements on campus. Some building entrances have been totally redone, like 1N (though the walkway in front is still horrible). 

The new Milestone areas are nicely done with all new pavement and benches. A lot of the parking lots have been repaved. 

Unfortunately, I haven’t seen any improvement in the walkways since I’ve been here, which is surprising.  These unsafe conditions need to be addressed and some planning needs to be done. 

I know that the budget plays a role in this, but the college needs to start somewhere and consider the inconveniences this has caused. Very few improvements have taken place with this issue and more need to occur.  

This has impacted me a little bit more while using my wheelchair and not being able to get around smoothly. I feel like every time I have rolled across campus, I’m playing a game of Hopscotch in my efforts to effectively navigate. 

This not only has affected me, but the other students as well. I was able to get some of their options on the issue. 

One student expressed that during icy and snowy winters, the sidewalks become more hazardous because students may not see the cracks. Another student has actually tripped three times and said that when you are rushing and not paying close attention, you can get hurt. 

Another group of students think that the college needs to invest more money to fix campus sidewalk cracks, as well as the cracks in some of the parking lots. 

“Terrible, really bad. Been here for 4 years with no change,” another student, who rides a bike through campus, said. 

Photo Credit: Della Jordan

The student further elaborated that while CUNY may not have the budget, some changes need to be made. It’s bad for all students in wheelchairs, those who have injuries and for those who ride bikes. 

Another wheelchair user felt the cracks on campus need to be fixed and CSI needs to improve the sidewalks.  

A student told me that this issue has been on their mind and for the money students pay for a CUNY education, CSI can at least ensure their safety through regular sidewalk maintenance. 

My next step was to contact the Facilities department. When I called and spoke with someone from the department, they said there is a plan to repair the cracks, but they cannot do anything presently because of the cold weather. 

She then passed my inquiry on to the department head. Keith Pisons, Director of Facilities Management, and George Sulley, Project Manager of the Office of Campus Planning and Facilities, responded quickly with good news: there are definite plans to begin replacing the concrete in areas across campus, beginning in April. 

There are six locations, including entrances, rings and loops throughout the campus. An email will be sent notifying the campus community of the plans. 

It is very encouraging to learn that repairs and replacement of our walkways is finally going to begin. I was surprised to hear the response because I just thought this project was not going to happen. 

I feel this work will only make our campus more beautiful and a pleasant place to be. Most importantly, it will be a much safer environment for everyone and there will no longer be risks of getting hurt. 

I could say this should have been done a long time ago, but I am happy it has been recognized and CUNY is making the improvements it needs.

I can’t wait to smoothly roll around in my wheelchair! I am sure everyone else on campus will be happy too.

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