A hole in an eroding SoHo sidewalk offered passersby a view into the Spring Street subway station below ground on Monday.
After noticing a hole about 1.5 inches in diameter in front of their workplace, Tuscany Foussard memorialized it in a TikTok video that now has over 750,000 views. Foussard then filed a 311 complaint. The MTA has now covered it with a traffic cone and blocked the area both around it and in the station below to pedestrian traffic.
Foussard, 26, is a barista at Blank Street Coffee — the cafe that sits behind the cracked sidewalk. They posted the video after noticing how loud the train sounded above ground. They peeked into the hole and saw the 6 train rumbling below.
Foussard said they informed their manager about the hole and their coworkers also found out soon afterward. The coffee shop, which is located in a bustling part of SoHo by Lt. Petrosino Square, experiences long lines that extend along the sidewalk where the hole is.
“I had noticed for a while there was like kind of cracks along the sidewalks.” Foussard, who grew up in SoHo, told Gothamist. “When you step on it, it always felt a bit thin.”
Foussard added that Monday’s rain was likely the culprit behind the sidewalk’s erosion.
The social media video prompted New Yorkers to express concerns about whether there are other holes in city sidewalks that could crack and send pedestrians plummeting into the subway system. One TikTok commenter said “Welcome to NYC” while others joked it was a potential payday from an accident lawsuit.
“It really kind of more spoke to the socioeconomic situation in the United States, if anything,” Foussard said. “People were like ‘oh get the bag, get that retirement.’”
One of Foussard’s coworkers, Gabi Dinkova, said she noticed MTA workers setting up the barrier around the hole when she opened up shop in the morning. She feels the city should do more to fix the problem immediately.
“They weren’t doing anything, they were just standing around,” Dinkova said. “They just put that traffic cone over it and this weird little mat … they haven’t really done anything else.”
In the past week alone, there have been 179 complaints to 311 about a broken sidewalk.
A spokesperson with the MTA said that the sidewalk damage is actively being investigated.
According to the Department of Transportation, the MTA must make repairs to the Spring Street station roof structure before they can come in and make repairs to the sidewalk.
Tram Hoang was sitting at one of Blank Street Coffee’s outdoor dining tables on Tuesday and was staring at the barricades surrounding the hole while sipping her coffee. She said she comes to this SoHo location once a week and was concerned after watching Foussard’s viral TikTok.
“It’s alarming,” Hoang said. “I didn’t realize that sidewalks could just erode like that.”