When Michael Hannibal and his wife paid for the reconstruction of their driveway along with the curb and sidewalk in front of their house to stop rain from getting into their basement, they didn’t expect a bureaucratic nightmare to follow.
According to the homeowner, the DOT raised the height of Eton Street in Jamaica Estates, where their house is, as part of a citywide resurfacing and milling initiative in July 2015, the year after the reconstruction. With the street in places above the curb, the agency effectively undid the fix. Their work also created a parking problem: Without the curb high enough above the road, a car parking on the street in front of Hannibal’s home will easily go onto the curb.
Hannibal and his wife filed a formal complaint with the agency that month “with the understanding that the Queens Borough Commissioner and Operational Unit would provide recommendations by August 20,” according to the homeowner.
He is a member of Community Board 8, and he worked with the board and the office of Councilman Rory Lancman (D-Fresh Meadows) to communicate with the DOT, emails show.
DOT official Richard Gippetti visited the site and said that it would be resolved, but did not follow up with the homeowner, Hannibal said.
In August 2015, the Queens Street Maintenance team found that no damage was done to the curb by city work; Hannibal was informed of their inspection last September.
After the office of City Comptroller Scott Stringer disallowed Hannibal’s claim and said that the city was not responsible, he filed a civil lawsuit against the city.
The homeowner is suing for $5,750 — an estimate given to him by a contractor — to have the sidewalk redone.