A salt on Borough Hall

The Brooklyn Paper
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Walk safely, Marty! The plaza around your Borough Hall office is now an obstacle course of disaster!

The salt-covered sidewalk outside looks like it’s been through a Moscow winter, what with wide cracks and chunks of slate sidewalk breaking away on the north side of the building near Court Street.

Some who walk the area daily, like Downtown office worker Lawrence Fiffer, are so fed up with the dangerous mess that they keep calling 311 — but are clearly getting nowhere.

“Some of these agencies, you can write from now until doomsday and they won’t respond,” said Fiffer. “It’s neglected, I tell ya.”

It’s also ironic, given that Markowitz made his personal fortune in part from a $225,000 slip-and-fall settlement in 2003 after he took a spill on an icy Albany parking lot in 2001.

The plaza in front of Borough Hall is the responsibility of the Parks Department, but the agency’s response to The Brooklyn Paper’s inquiry was murky at best. In a statement, a spokeswoman blamed both the weather, “heavy traffic,” and the economy for the problem.

“We believe the bluestone was cracked by heavy traffic on the plaza,” the spokeswoman said in an e-mail. “This repair job is weather-dependent, and we hope to complete the work as soon as possible. When funding becomes available for replacement slates, we look forward to installing them.”

In the meantime, city taxpayers should hope for no more icy Albany-style weather — or else a borough president could slip and sue us!

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Reader Feedback

Any mouse from Somewhere in Brooklyn says:
The sidewalk looks like Marty's retirement plan. Should hit the courts about 4 years from now. At least he has an exit strategy.
Jan. 13, 2010, 10:22 pm
john from south brookyn says:
this is shabby journalism and blaming the borough president is simply lame. yes, the blue stone is in poor condition, but because the plaza is in a historic district, the parks department must replace the blue stone in kind (which is very costly) rather than patch it or use replacement materials. Ideally, Parks could use a concrete fashioned to look like blue stone, but the old fogies over at the Brooklyn Heights Association will go crazy.
Jan. 14, 2010, 9:51 am
Daniel Goldstein from Prospect Heights says:
The problem is easily fixed. Call it blighted and condemn it by eminent domain.

Jan. 14, 2010, 11:56 am
John from south brooklyn says:
Mr. Goldstein,

I see Ahab is still hunting his whale. Don't forget how Mobey Dick ends!
Jan. 14, 2010, 12:04 pm
al pankin from downtown says:
this is really funny, finally someone noticed that the bluestone around boro hall is in bad shape...why are trucks and motor vehicles allowed to drive and park on the bluestone? it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that the weight of the vehicles cracks the bluestone.
did you ever see the quality of the workers installing the expensive bluestone? they have no SKILL. if it wasn't a city job who who hire these contractors?
Jan. 14, 2010, 12:25 pm

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