An ankle-wrecking hole in the sidewalk at the corner of Bedford Avenue and N. Eighth Street that no one has bothered to fix for almost a month has become an impromptu garbage can for passers-by to throw their junk.
The hole, which is at the corner right next to Southern restaurant Sweet Chick, has been threatening elderly people, toddlers, and people in high heels for at least three weeks, and is now filled with coffee cups and — ick! — condom wrappers.
Someone did mark the hole with bright orange spray paint, but no one has made a move to actually fix the hole, which neighbors say is growing by the day and is a constant menace.
“I saw it at the last minute, luckily,” said Cassie Spellman, who navigated the hole as she walked around Williamsburg with a friend on Thursday night. “I would have totally broken my ankle on that.”
The owner of Sweet Chick said he believes that the building’s owner Jerry Lebedowicz should step up and fix the hole if he knows what’s good for him.
“Anyone could break an ankle or it could fall in,” said restaurant owner John Seymour. “It is definitely a lawsuit waiting to happen.”
Typically, a building owner is responsible for maintaining the sidewalk, even though it is technically owned by the city. This means that the building owner must keep the sidewalk in front of their property free of snow, ice, and garbage, and that they must fix the sidewalk so that it is safe to walk on.
There could be some exceptions to landlord responsibility. If a sewer problem breaks the sidewalk, the city might step up to fix it.
A spokesman for the Department of Transportation said the agency will look into the problem.
The building’s owner and the city did not return requests for comment.