Walking the Talk on Sidewalks


As you may know, fixing broken sidewalks in our neighborhoods has been my priority for some time. I know that a significant amount of the city's 10,000 miles of sidewalks are in need of repair. I have heard from constituents, homeowners and businesspeople about the sorry state of LA's sidewalks and, as a frequent pedestrian and cyclist myself, I know firsthand how buckled sidewalks negatively impact our neighborhoods. I also know that the status quo just won't do anymore.

Last summer, Councilmember Joe Buscaino and I introduced three motions that contained a number of policy ideas and requested reports from city staff--all with the goal of creating a comprehensive program that would lead to the repair of every sidewalk that needs it.

We also rolled up our sleeves right away and got to work, beginning with several joint Budget and Finance Committee and Public Works Committee hearings to discuss our ideas and to get early feedback from Neighborhood Councils and other community advocates. As a result of our efforts, the City Council established a Sidewalk Repair Trust Fund to hold money specifically dedicated to fund repairs. The fund started with $27 million to repair sidewalks next to city-owned parks, libraries and recreation centers. Those repairs are happening right now across the city. You can see the results already at Beeman and Woodbridge parks, and the North Hollywood Recreation Center, with many more to come.

The city also reached a favorable settlement in the Willits lawsuit, resulting in an unprecedented commitment by Los Angeles to put $1.4 billion into sidewalk repair over the next 30 years.

Now, we're moving to the next major phase of our overall sidewalk repair plan. In response to our motions, the City Administrative Officer recently released a major report outlining a number of policy options for the City Council to consider when establishing a repair program for sidewalks next to homes and businesses. Read the report here. We had ourfirst public hearing about the report's recommendations this week, at which we went over the report and policy options in depth. Watch this KTLA News video about the hearing.

In the coming weeks, I will get back to you with the dates and locations of a series of sidewalk meetings that Councilmember Buscaino and I will host in neighborhoods throughout the city. We want to hear from residents and stakeholders like you. Your opinions and ideas on the policy options are critical and will help shape the final product, which we hope to bring before the full City Council for a vote in the fall.

Our aim is to come up with the best and fairest sidewalk policy possible, one that will accomplish what we all want--a permanent and ongoing sidewalk repair plan that safeguards pedestrians and ensures accessibility for everyone in our great city.