Future Hoboken Lawsuits?

General public slow to wake up in Hoboken re: useless sidewalk ramps

Over four years ago (in 2010) Hoboken411 immediately pointed out how useless and in-fact dangerous those stupid sidewalk ramps are. They make it SLIPPY not GRIPPY! We’ve mentioned this countless times.

But Hoboken resident Amy, now in 2015 is saying something eerily similar to what we said here long before:

“While walking on the corner of 11th & Park, I slipped and fell. The ground was wet from the rain, and I was walking at a brisk pace. I stepped on one of those plastic ramp covers, slipped and fell. A friend of mine also had a similar experience. These slipping hazards are all over the neighborhood! I now avoid walking over them entirely. Who installed these things?

We would be better off WITHOUT them. No functional purpose.”

See the problem is “now that it has been brought to the public’s attention” as Amy said – means that you no longer can claim ignorance or surprise if you fall again. It’s up to the individual to use common sense and avoid these things until the city does get successfully sued and removes them. This PSA video might help you:

Slippery steps ahead with inappropriate walking surfaces


Providing a path for the public to walk on shouldn’t be rocket science.

The premise is simple: Make sure it’s clear, level and easy & safe to walk on in most conditions, including rain & snow. Most concrete sidewalks and paved streets meet this criteria. However, some of the “add-ons” in Hoboken actually are detrimental, and create some dangerous conditions.

  • The rubber crosswalk mats
  • The new crosswalk paint

As you saw earlier in the week – the reason rubber/silicone ice cube trays are great, is because they’re slippery. They do not, however, make for a good walking surface, regardless of the “bumps” and texture on them. You can easily slip and sustain injury on these rubber mats that are installed throughout the city.

I recommend that all of these rubber mats either get removed entirely, or replaced with more sensible solutions like the textured bricks that are installed in other areas. They have traction and grip – unlike the rubber versions.

Slippery Slate and Paint too

You know during the paving frenzy earlier this year, Thermo-plastic paint (see video) was applied to create bright, reflective crosswalks around town. The problem with these wide, smooth markings is – that they too are a slip & fall waiting to happen. Whatever abrasive content that was added to the paint to create traction wears off quickly. I’d suggest anyone who slips and falls in places like these to contact a lawyer immediately and seek restitution.

One other bad idea in Hoboken is residents who have slate sidewalks in front of their homes. While pretty & stylish, these aren’t necessarily ideal walking surfaces either, and get extremely slippery much faster in cold weather than other sidewalks made of concrete or brick. A moratorium should be enacted to prevent any future installation of sidewalks like these. Do what you want on private property, but public walking areas don’t need this silly material.

Some may say that I’m nit-picking, or to just “not walk on them.” Well, I do avoid the slippery areas because I have common sense. But others aren’t so lucky, and I wanted to put these observations on public record so we have something to refer back to once people wake up.

Report your slippery accidents waiting to happen here!

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Monday, August 15, 2011 11:24 am


These are designed to give tactile feed back to anyone using a cane to ‘see’ so they know they are about to step out into traffic, because a curb used to be the warning.

Monday, August 15, 2011 11:08 am

Those things are some sort of federal mandate you see them everywhere. It wouldn’t surprise me if the city received $$$$ from the government for this project.

Monday, August 15, 2011 9:13 am

“A moratorium should be enacted to prevent any future installation of sidewalks like these.”

I find it funny that you were just complaining about regulations and restrictions in another story about recycling, and now you want sidewalk police to tell you what kind of sidewalk you can install.

I agree, though, that the plastic/rubber mats are slippery. They’re supposed to help the blind and the handicap discern the crosswalk, but they’re going to cause non-handicap folk to become handicap when they slip and get hit by a car.

Sunday, August 14, 2011 9:28 pm

I too have taken the slip on one of these the other day. It had just rained but it’s the middle of summer, imagine how much worse they are in the winter with ice and snow! Another waste of material and money, bare concrete alone has much more traction than these mats.

Friday, November 19, 2010 2:45 pm

I think I recal one intersection by me having a grooved surface and I thought it was a good idea, until a few days later, these were screwed or glued on top. Luckily I always wear Sebago Boat Shoes.

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