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San Diego Sidewalks Getting $1M Assessment

Evening Edition

Above: San Diego's sidewalks may be in for much-needed repairs. Interim Mayor Todd Gloria and Councilman Mark Kersey kicked off a project Friday, Januray 10, 2014, that will assess the city's 5,000 miles of sidewalks over the next year. KPBS video journalist Katie Schoolov explains.

Aired 1/10/14 on KPBS News.

San Diego's sidewalks might be getting a much-needed makeover.

San Diego's sidewalks might be getting a much-needed makeover. Interim San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria and Councilman Mark Kersey kicked off a project Friday that will assess the city's 5,000 miles of sidewalks over the next year.

The San Diego City Council has approved $1 million that will allow two dozen engineering students from San Diego State Universtiy and UC San Diego to walk all 5,000 miles of the city's sidewalks, using survey forms and GPS devices to track bumps, cracks and missing portions of sidewalk.

Two dozen engineering students from SDSU and UC San Diego will walk all 5,000 miles of the city's sidewalks to assess damaged areas.

“This is a long time in the making," Councilman Mark Kersey said, who heads the city's infrastructure committee. "The city's never done a comprehensive citywide sidewalk assessment, and yet it's one of the biggest complaints we get every year.”

South Park resident Noble Robinson said he walks his dog, Peter, everyday and sees many examples of sidewalks in need of repair.

San Diego City Councilman Mark Kersey heads the city’s infrastructure committee.

"A lot of the places I will avoid because of the unevenness of the sidewalk," Robinson said. "We come across sidewalks that are in disrepair and in need of attention. There's older people that walk their dogs as well, and I think it would be a concern for them tripping."

The infrastructure committee will also be updating the decades-old sidewalk policies that have led to confusion on who is responsible for repairs.

"California law makes sidewalk conditions the responsibility of the adjacent property owners, but the city is responsible for alleviating trip hazards," Gloria said. "And that, of course, has led to confusion and deteriorating conditions on many sidewalks."

South Park resident Noble Robinson walks his dog Peter every day on what he describes as deteriorating sidewalks.

The sidewalk assessments are expected to wrap up in about a year. Then the city will figure out how — and how much it will cost — to get them fixed.

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