A scathing audit reports that the Los Angeles city government has spent $81 million on a complicated system to fix sidewalks with little to show for it.
Los Angeles’ sidewalk repair system is expensive, slow to fix sidewalks and ineffective. It’s time for a change in how this city handles its streets.
LOS ANGELES, Calif. (CBSLA) – According to an audit by LA Controller Ron Galperin, tens of thousands of sidewalks are damaged and in serious need of repair, and it’s mostly owing to the city’s response to requests.
The audit discovered that only about 1% of the city’s sidewalks have been certified as repaired, due in part to the city’s prioritization of sidewalks near city-owned facilities, slow response times to repair requests, and the city’s practice of replacing entire parcels, which makes repairs more expensive and time consuming than necessary.
READ MORE: Fighter Cat Zingano Files a Lawsuit Over Allegations In 2019, Halle Berry was fired from the UFC.
31 JULY 2013. LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA On July 31, 2013, a child enjoys scootering over a cracked sidewalk on Saturn St in Los Angeles, California. Homeowners, on the other hand, are irritated by the city’s decades-long neglect of jagged sidewalks that have uprooted the roots of the street’s 65-year-old oaks. (Photo courtesy of Getty Images/Don Bartletti/Los Angeles Times) )
In a statement, Galperin claimed that “tens of thousands of sidewalks around Los Angeles are inaccessible for the elderly, those with disabilities, and pedestrians of all ages.” “Despite the city’s recent attention to the problem, the city’s sidewalk restoration program is just not operating as it should.” Because of the magnitude of the issue and the city’s poor and ineffectual response, unsafe sidewalks aren’t being repaired quickly enough. Most of them won’t be rectified for years, if not decades.”
Following the 2016 Willits settlement, the city committed to spend approximately $1.4 billion over three decades to repair crumbling sidewalks, impassable curb ramps, and other obstacles in the pedestrian public right-of-way. In the same year, the Los Angeles City Council passed a “fix and release” policy, which permitted the city to relinquish responsibility for a repaired sidewalk after issuing a certificate of conformity and warranty to the neighboring property owner, who would then be responsible for its upkeep.
“Everyone walks in a neighborhood like this, so we’d want it to be secure and safe for everyone,” Jude Albright, an Atwater Village resident, said.
READ MORE: A Rust crew member files a lawsuit alleging Baldwin negligence during on-set filming.
However, under the terms of the Willits settlement, just 2,100 of the 11,000 kilometers of sidewalks that the city identified in 2016 had been repaired.
According to Galperin’s audit, the city has paid out more than $35 million in settlements to resolve more than 1,700 claims and 1,020 lawsuits for sidewalk injuries over the last five fiscal years – including $12 million in only fiscal year 2020. As of the end of June this year, certificates of conformity have been granted to fewer than 1% of sidewalk parcels, and the city has no idea how many sidewalks are in need of repair or how much it would cost.
According to the audit, it took 41 days on average to execute a minor sidewalk repair, such as fixing a tiny crack, compared to three days to fill a roadway pothole.
“It’s up and down, it’s a hump, and then you just have to keep going like this,” said Sherman Oaks employee Jaklin Dilnchian. “I have to come down the street because there are so many bumps.”
MORE NEWS: Police Are Looking For A Puppy Stolen In The West Hills Area.
The audit recommends that the city change its prioritizations so that residential commercial properties can be considered for repair right away; invest in a citywide assessment of all sidewalks and curb ramps to identify sites in need of immediate attention; change city law so that individual sidewalk defects can be repaired rather than the entire parcel replaced; and pursue more funding to address the sidewalk backlog.