Today’s Headlines

  • Preferred Route Selected for Crenshaw Light Rail (Daily Breeze)
  • Times’ Art Critic Gets Liveable Streets (Times)
  • Here Come the Smart Cars (Daily News)
  • Apparently Some People Don’t Like the Pico/Olympic Plan (City Watch)
  • City’s Plan for Sidewalks: Charge Homesellers for Fixes (Times)
  • LACBC Offers Bike Valet at AMGEN Event (KHTS)
  • Coming Next Week: Regional Connector Meetings (Blogdowntown, Metro)
  • Biofuels Hot in U.S., Not in Europe (Grist)
  • Justin

    The entire sidewalk issue in LA is an “interesting” one. At my house, the sidewalk ends at the end of my neighbor’s property, and does not continue through my property and onwards. I live on a very busy street, where cars are regularly driving in excess of 50 miles per hour. I was recently doing some other renovations to the front of our property, such as replacing my old, too narrow driveways, and putting in a wall along the front of the property. As a part of the renovation I originally wanted to, as a courtesy to others, extend the existing sidewalk to that people did not need to walk in the street when they passed in front of my house. When I investigated what it would take to put the sidewalk in, I gave up. It turned out that a sidewalk requires separate permitting from a slightly different department, and the inspection process is also quite rigorous. Additionally, I would be opening myself up to ongoing liability to repair the sidewalk, forever. You see, if you put in a sidewalk yourself, it has to be maintained to city code levels, at your expense. This is different than sidewalks the city itself installs, which clearly do NOT need to be maintained to code, as we can see just by walking down the street.

    If I had decided to install the sidewalk, and later the city had also decided to extend the sidewalk beyond my property at their expense, I would have maintained responsibility for my section of the sidewalk FOREVER even though my neighbors on either side would be covered by the city for any repairs that needed to be made on their, city installed sidewalk.

    Add into this equation that I would not be allowed to use my own contractors to install the sidewalk, but instead would need to use special city approved sidewalk contractors and I just gave up. Now I have bushes and trees in place which totally block the sidewalk area. It was the only way to keep the front of the house from becoming a mud pit where bikes rode across the grass, digging it up.

    Thanks City!!!

    Justin