April 02, 2015


City News Service 



The Los Angeles City Council agreed this week to spend $31 million a year for 30 years on sidewalk repair projects to settle a lawsuit filed by disabled residents and their advocates alleging the city has hindered their ability to use public walkways by failing to fix damaged sidewalks. Three groups sued the city four and a half years ago contending the city violated the American Disabilities Act by not doing enough to make sidewalks more accessible. With the three cases unresolved, city officials had said they were unable to move forward on a long-term sidewalk repair plan, even as money for repairs has become available.


The Los Angeles City Council agreed recently to set aside $27 million in a sidewalk repair fund, but details of how the money will be spent still need to be determined. The city would theoretically spend the money on a series of not-yet- developed repair programs that could involve cost-sharing with property owners or offering loans. City officials said they last tried to tackle sidewalk repairs in the 1970s using federal funding, but ran out of money.


Complicating the lawsuit was an unresolved debate over who is responsible for fixing sidewalks. Sidewalks next to private residences are privately owned, but the city assumed responsibility in the 1970s to pay for their repair. While the lawsuit was pending, city officials had opted to initially fix sidewalks that are unquestionably the city's responsibility, such as those next to libraries, parks, fire and police stations and other municipal property.

Category: Community