Yes, you may sweep it once in a while. Or your kids may write on it with brightly colored chalk. But when the roots from the giant ficus planted on the parkway make your sidewalk into a colossal ramp for skateboarding teens, whose job is it to fix the dang thing? And perhaps even more important: who is liable for that trip-and-fall lawsuit just waiting to happen? Is it the City, or you?
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 repair. So now 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.
Given the scope of the problem and the estimated $1.2 billion in would cost to repair all the sidewalks, it’s no surprise that two LA City Council committees (Budget & Finance, and Public Works) met in late October to consider putting the burden of repairs (and liability) back on homeowners’ shoulders. The two committees are expected to continue debate on the issue again in November.
Read the LA Daily News article for a more in-depth look at options the City is considering.
Check out the Department of Public Works page that spells out the “50-50 Program” and “DIY Sidewalk Repair.”
About Julie Grist
Julie co-founded the Larchmont Buzz with fellow buzzer Mary Hawley in 2011 and served as Editor, Publisher and writer for the hive for many years until the sale of the Buzz in August 2015. She is still circling the hive as an occasional writer.