San Diego Sidewalks Getting $1M Assessment
Friday, January 10, 2014
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.
“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.
"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."
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.