The city is taking a crucial step towards taking over responsibility for hundreds of unmapped streets — the private byways in many neighborhoods which homeowners are now burdened with maintaining.
Mayor DeBlasio has signed a new law requiring the Department of Transportation to identify and study all of the city’s unmapped streets with the aim of the city acquiring them in order to bring them into the normal system of municipal maintenance.
Councilman Alan Maisel (D–Canarsie) introduced the legislation because maintenance has become too burdensome for many of his constituents who live on such streets, he said.
Under the new law, the Department of Transportation must identify and study all unmapped streets citywide by June 30, 2018, to determine the feasibility of bringing them onto the city rolls, Maisel said.
But the process of adding a street to the city map isn’t always as straightforward as one might think. In many cases, it’s not clear which streets — or even which parts of a street — are outside the city’s purview. Hence the need for the study, Maisel said.
“What is and what isn’t, we don’t know, there are lots of them, every street has a different history and we want to know,” he said. “There’s a lot of confusion, and it requires a lot of research.”