LA City Councilmembers Introduce Motion on Sidewalk Assessments

Three Los Angeles City Councilmembers introduced a motion today that demands City staff go back to the drawing board and come up with a better way to assess hundreds of miles of City sidewalks that are in desperate need of repair.

The motion, authored by Councilmembers Eric Garcetti and Bill Rosendahl, and seconded by Councilmember Joe Buscaino, was introduced after the Public Works Committee received a report from the Bureau of Street Services exploring various options for comprehensive sidewalk repair. The Bureau estimated that a comprehensive assessment of the city’s sidewalks would cost “well over $10 million” and would take three years.

“We can’t afford to wait three years and spend $10 million on a study while our sidewalks are crumbling below our feet right now,” said Garcetti, whose office every year executes a street-by-street graffiti assessment in a single day and who is a member of the Public Works Committee.

“There has to be a much faster and much smarter way to catalog our crumbling and buckling sidewalks,” said Rosendahl, who is Chair of the Transportation Committee.  “Why not tap into the networks of thousands of community activists in the City? Why not use cutting-edge technology and smartphone apps?  We have the energy and creativity to do this better and cheaper.”

The motion was introduced today and will now head to Public Works committee.

“Coming from the police department, I’m used to responding to critical situations immediately. While broken sidewalks may not require flashing lights and sirens, we must address the problem with a much greater sense of urgency, and a focus on efficiency and cost-effectiveness,” said Buscaino,who is Chair of the Public Works Commitee and a leading voice for comprehensive sidewalk repair.

Councilmembers Tom LaBonge and Paul Koretz signed the motion on behalf of their colleagues Garcetti, who is currently serving on U.S. Navy duty, and Rosendahl, who is currently undergoing treatment for cancer.

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