Repairing Our City’s Broken Sidewalks


On Aug. 26, the City Council took the next step toward repairing our city’s broken sidewalks by voting to approve the recommendations that I made with Councilmember Joe Buscaino. As chairs of the Budget and Finance and Public Works committees, respectively, we have made it our mission to craft a comprehensive solution to LA’s sidewalk woes.

Here is a snapshot of what the city is doing right away:

  1. Creating a Sidewalk Repair Trust Fund to hold funds for future sidewalk repairs;
  2. Sending Neighborhood Councils a questionnaire to get feedback on the proposal;
  3. Developing a complaint-driven mapping and prioritization system to identify and coordinate repairs to the city’s most dangerous sidewalks; and
  4. Reporting back in 60 days on repair program specifics, including a 50/50 cost sharing program for homeowners; a revolving loan program to help pay for repairs; a plan for fixing sidewalks next to parks and community centers this year; and much more.

After decades of attempts to tackle our sidewalk problems, I think everyone on the City Council believes that we must address this issue in a comprehensive way. This recent vote moved us in the right direction, but it is just the beginning of a long journey.

I can assure you that many of our sidewalks will get fixed soon. In fact, we are already repairing some. The City Council allocated $27 million for sidewalk repair this year. What I am attempting to do with my colleagues is create a program that will both allow us to use that money on urgent sidewalk repairs now and also methodically continue the needed repairs in the years to come.

Two months from now, when we receive the reports we requested, the City Council will use the information to figure out the most efficient, cost effective and sustainable approaches for resolving the city’s sidewalk damage backlog. I truly believe that we are going about this in the right way. This is how we’ll get our sidewalks repaired, which is what Angelenos want and deserve.

It is a real opportunity to move beyond piecemeal solutions and create a complete program to make our sidewalks better and safer across Los Angeles.