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San Diego City Council Considers $100 Million Proposal To Fix Sidewalks

San Diego City Councilman Mark Kersey speaks to a resident about sidewalks, J...

Photo by Priya Sridhar

Above: San Diego City Councilman Mark Kersey speaks to a resident about sidewalks, Jan. 2, 2020.

The City of San Diego has a backlog of more than 81,000 city sidewalk repair projects.

Currently, the city splits the costs of many sidewalk repairs in half with the property owner and it can take more than a year to get your sidewalk fixed.

Listen to this story by Priya Sridhar.

If a property owner wants to fix their sidewalk themselves, they must get a permit from the city, which can cost approximately $2,000.

Councilman Mark Kersey says in many cases the permit costs more than the actual repairs and so it doesn't make financial sense for property owners to do the work.

"Technically, in almost every case, the property owner owns the sidewalk and is legally responsible or technically responsible for its maintenance and upkeep. The problem is if someone trips and falls and hurts themselves under state law, the city is liable," he said.

As a result, Kersey says the city has faced millions of dollars in lawsuits from people who are injured on bad sidewalks.

"The city winds up paying out millions of dollars every year in trip and fall claims and sometimes they're pretty bad. So what I would like to do is spend a lot less money on those claims and a lot more money on fixing the actual sidewalk problem," he said.

The council's infrastructure committee will meet in February to see how to fund sidewalk repairs in the future budget.

San Diego News Matters podcast branding

A San Diego mother, Rocio Rebollar Gomez, 50, first entered the country illegally more than three decades ago. She was deported to Tijuana on Thursday, though her family fought for years to keep her in the United States. Plus, the city of San Diego plans to spend $100 million on sidewalk repairs. With a backlog of more than 81,000 sidewalk ... Read more →

Aired: January 3, 2020 | Transcript

Photo of Priya Sridhar

Priya Sridhar
General Assignment Reporter

opening quote marksclosing quote marksI am a general assignment reporter for KPBS. In addition to covering the latest news and issues that are relevant to the San Diego community, I enjoy investigating consumer stories that can help San Diegans navigate their daily lives.

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