Los Angeles City Sidewalks Are Still Dangerous Despite Millions Of Repairs, Audit Finds – NBC Los Angeles
What you should know
- Priority will be given when examining identified sidewalks next to city buildings.
- More dangerous sidewalks in front of houses and apartments are moved down in the priority list for repair.
- LA often repairs sidewalks when there are only minor imperfections.
It would take nearly 500 years to fix all of LA’s battered and cracked sidewalks at the current pace of the city’s repair program, says a pre-copy of an audit by City Controller Ron Galperin received by the NBC4 I team.
“The system that the city has to deal with broken sidewalks is broken in itself,” Galperin told the I-Team.
The seven-month audit “Repairing LA’s Broken Sidewalk Strategy” concluded that despite the city spending millions of dollars each year, the city’s most dangerous sidewalks are not being repaired fast enough.
Controller Galperin spoke to the I-Team outside a section of an almost impassable sidewalk in a residential area in Norton near Eighth Street. Google Street View shows the sidewalk has been buckling for at least 13 years.
“This sidewalk should have been repaired years ago,” said Galperin. “This sidewalk is impossible to negotiate in a wheelchair … and if you’re just old-fashioned, imagine the potential for injury.”
In November 2014, the NBC4 I team first revealed how thousands of people were injured while LA was slow to repair cracked and dented sidewalks.
Seven years later, Galperin’s audit says the city is still too slow to resolve the dangers, costing taxpayers an additional million dollars.
“We spend about $ 30 million annually on sidewalk repairs, but last fiscal year we spent $ 12 million on settlements alone” from sidewalk claims and lawsuits.
Testing the controller identified numerous problems with LA’s sidewalk repair program, including:
- Sidewalks next to city buildings are given priority repair, while even more dangerous sidewalks in front of houses and apartments are moved down the priority list for repair.
- LA often repairs an entire block – or package – of the sidewalk when there are only minor imperfections in one or a few spots that could be fixed more cheaply.
“You can bet we’re wasting millions of dollars in taxes,” said Galperin.
To settle a lawsuit filed by disabled citizens, Mayor Eric Garcetti pledged to spend $ 1.4 billion on repairing the city’s sidewalks in 2015.
But Galperin’s report found that there are still more than “50,000 reports of sidewalk problems that LA is not addressing”.
“We have 9,000 miles of sidewalks and only a tiny fraction of that is being repaired,” Galperin told NBC4.
The I-Team asked Mayor Garcetti’s office to comment on the errors in the sidewalk program that the city audit found.
Garcetti’s office sent NBC4 a statement stating:
“Mayor Garcetti has always made sidewalk repair a top priority – that’s why he launched the city’s first repair program in three decades, repairing more kilometers of pavement than any other program in history. The Mayor appreciates the feedback in this report. and will continue to aggressively push for the kind of improvements Angelenos can see and feel in their neighborhood. “
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