After two years of concentrated work, community meetings and neighborhood input, this week I announced a final policy framework to repair every broken sidewalk in Los Angeles.After two years of concentrated work, community meetings and neighborhood input, this week I announced a final policy framework to repair every broken sidewalk in Los Angeles.
The 11-point plan, first laid out in a public letter signed by Councilmembers Busciano, Martinez, Bonin and me, received unanimous support at Monday's joint hearing of the Budget and Finance and Public Works committees. It is comprehensive, fair and will result in the repair of every sidewalk in our 11,000-mile system that needs it.
The plan is the culmination of extensive discussions over the past two years. We spent countless hours reading reports, considering staff recommendations and getting invaluable input from hundreds of Angelenos about what LA's sidewalk repair policy should look like. All of this helped us get to the point where we could make decisions, which we did on Monday. Our sidewalk plan will be heard by the full City Council within the next few weeks and, once approved, will become the framework for LA's comprehensive repair program.
What the Sidewalk Repair Plan Means for LA
Our comprehensive sidewalk repair plan is a multi-pronged approach that will begin this summer and unfold over the next three decades. Here's a summary of what we hope to achieve:
-Implement a Comprehensive Repair Program: The city will perform one-time repairs for all sidewalks in the city that need it.
-Offer a Warranty for Future Damage: The city will offer a 20-year warranty on its sidewalk repairs for residential properties and a five-year warranty for commercial properties.
-Inspect and Certify Sidewalks: The city will inspect sidewalks and certify those that are in good, ADA compliant condition.
-Prioritize and Coordinate Repairs: The city's Bureau of Engineering will develop a fair and objective system to prioritize when and where sidewalks should be repaired.
-Coordinate Demand-based Repair Work with Council Offices: The city will be responsive to complaints and repair sidewalks where there is an impediment to mobility.
-Create a Division of Labor: The city will use its workforce, along with private-sector workers, to fix LA's sidewalks.
-Find Creative Ways to Enhance the Program: The city will find ways to use the sidewalk program for workforce development and job training programs and explore financing options to complete the program as quickly as possible.
-Preserve Street Trees and Maintain Accessibility: The city will make every effort to protect neighborhood trees. Wherever removal is required to make a sidewalk accessible, there will be a tree replacement program using trees that won't cause future damage.
-Use Non-Standard Sidewalk Designs and Materials: The city will explore using alternative designs and materials that promote environmental objectives, like maximizing groundwater infiltration, providing flexibility for tree growth and making parkways more sustainable and resilient.
-Encourage Proactive Repairs: The city will create a partnership between property owners and the city. Offer a substantial rebate to property owners who repair their sidewalks within the first three years of the program.
-Repeal the Tree Root Exception: The City Council will repeal the tree root exception so that it can enforce state law governing sidewalks.
On the Right Path
For the past 40 years, Los Angeles residents have been stuck with dysfunctional sidewalk policy. This program will change all of that. It will fix the cracks and the bumps, ensure accessibility and allow all Angelenos to get around neighborhood sidewalks without fear and frustration.