Los Angeles faces a crisis of concrete: an estimated 4,700 miles of the 11,000 miles of Los Angeles sidewalks are in disrepair. Some of that mangled mileage may be right in front of your house, it is in front of mine. I recently applied for a city permit to have the concrete poured myself (a $3,000 repair) and was given an estimated fee of $800 on top of my out-of-pocket. Like many others, I’ve put the plan on hold until the City sorts things out.
Once all Los Angeles sidewalk repairs were the duty of the landowner, but in 1973 the City, with help from federal funding, agreed to repair all sidewalks that were damaged due to tree roots. That funding has been dried up for may years now, and a plan never put in place to keep on top of repairs. Angelenos feel that the City should still be doing the repairs, the City says it is the duty of the homeowner.
Earlier this month, the LA City Council approved a $27 million program to fix sidewalks around city facilities such as libraries, fire departments and city agencies. It will correct 275 public locations where damaged sidewalks present a potential city liability.
Councilman Joe Buscaino, Chair of the City Council’s Public Works Committee, presented a plan in July 2014 to waive the fees for homeowners to do the repairs themselves, but this has not gone into effect leaving homeowners on hold, and hoping they won’t get slapped with an injury lawsuit from someone tripping on their messed-up sidewalks.
In the meantime, the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment is asking neighborhood councils to provide information on what kind of damaged sidewalks most need repair, and who should pay for them in a brief sidewalk survey. Your survey participation may get funds directed to the greater Wilshire area, and at minimum will let city officials know who you think should be responsible for paying for the repairs. Though the Bureau of Street Services was asking for submissions by Oct 30, the site is still accepting surveys, so take a minute and complete the survey today.