Nosy Neighbor: What happened to the pedestrian ramps at Reade and Greenwich?

M. wrote to say, “Why did they get rid of the sidewalk let-down at the Reade + Greenwich intersection? Annoying for stroller people!”

Rather than call them let-downs, I called them “curb cuts” and sent a note to DOT (Transportation). DOT said that decision was not us, that was DOB (Buildings). We went through a few more emails and DOB said those are in the jurisdiction of DOB. Turns out they are not curb cuts, they are pedestrian ramps. So now we are all on the same page with the same jargon, but either way, the facts remain the same as well: the city took away the pedestrian ramp that made it easier to cross at Reade and Greenwich.

Here’s the (rather thin) rationale: “DOT removed the ramps because they are close to signalized, marked crossings at Chambers and Duane streets, and because there is not a park entrance at Reade Street. Our practice is to install and upgrade ramps at “T” intersections where there is more than 500 feet between marked crossings.”

So this means anyone walking west on Reade cannot cross to the other side (enter chicken) but must walk north or south to cross safely or in a wheelchair.

This makes little sense to me. People want to do what they want to do, and short of J-walking, should be allowed to cross at mapped streets, even if there is no obvious destination (like a park entrance) at the other side. Taking away the pedestrian ramps only makes it more dangerous, not less.



  1. i always thought it was strange that those ramps were there. after all, there was no crosswalk or stop sign on greenwich at that corner. it basically was encouraging jay walking.

    • I think the solution is to keep the ramps and insert a painted crosswalk, as we had at Duane and Greenwich for decades until they added the stoplight.

  2. So they went out of their way to expend time and resources for a non-essential project that inconveniences locals. That’s good. Thanks for looking into this