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More information will follow, but for now a look at the Department of Transportation seems appropriate place to start.  It is the city department that New Yorkers have the most contact with since it is responsible for our streets, sidewalks, and highways.

For a look at how it does its job, take a look at Brookville Boulevard in Queens from Rockaway Boulevard (NY 878) to 149 Street.  The street runs through a marsh, with one lane in each direction.  It has no shoulders or curbs.  It does have a number of curves.  A wrong or missed turn may result in death, particularly at high tide.  The lights were out for two years.  And the middle section has been unlit for close to a year after they were fixed!

The Brookville Boulevard page discusses this in greater detail.

Rockaway residents certainly appreciate repairs, but why are they raising traffic signals on streets that are 20 feet above sea level?  Do they have too much money?

The Department of Environmental Protection has its own protection issues.  It’s impossible to notify them of a problem with the water supply system outside of the city.  Of course most people know that the city owns substantial property upstate, but how many people know that the Rockaways receives its water from a pipe that runs through Nassau County?

But that may be the least of the DEP’s problems.  Most of us assume that earthquakes are a west cost phenomenon, but the Hudson River Valley is surprisingly active seismically.  The aqueducts and water  tunnels supplying the city cross a number of fault lines but DEP wears blinders to the dangers.

The DEP page contains a fuller discussion of these matters.