LA finally gets serious about fixing its sidewalks

Angelenos have heard the statistics many times over the past few years: nearly half of LA’s sidewalks are cracked, crumbling, or…whatever term you’d like to use to refer to the mess above. It will take an estimated $1.5 billion to return them to pristine–or at least usable–condition. In the last few years spending on sidewalk repair has been less than one percent of that figure. The city spends about the same on the 2,500 trip and fall claims it receives each year.

But now, the LA Times reports that the city is pondering the first step in a comprehensive program to bring its sidewalks up to snuff: a survey of all 10,000+ miles of sidewalks to document the condition of curbs and gutters, street trees, soils, and other details, and the development of a software program to compile the results. The survey could take three years and cost more than $10 million.

Why go to all that effort? It would provide justification for the City to place a bond measure on the ballot (possibly in 2017) to fund sidewalk repairs.