In order to meet the Federal Americans with Disabilities Act standards, pedestrian ramps were installed on most sidewalk corners in NYC. They are more formally known as "detectable warning surfaces" ‒ that sometimes are a bright color yellow, orange or drab gray. These pads are combined with the raised bumps to supposedly allow walkers & bicyclists of all abilities to have a better idea of where the sidewalk transitions to a roadway.
However some of the warning surface pads have turned into serious trip hazards. During snow storms, the Parks Dept., DOT, business owners and homeowners use plows to clear sidewalks of snow. Many hit the pads breaking or lifting them as seen in the photos above. This past winter the JPCA witnessed a senior citizen trip on the pedestrian pad at 57th Avenue and 74th Street. She was taken to the hospital by ambulance (see inset photo above).