City Can Fix the Sidewalks Now, or Wait for the Court Orders

In today’s edition of the Los Angeles Times, Ari Bloomekatz updates the state of the myriad of lawsuits against the City of Los Angeles for the poor state of its sidewalks.  Last year, the city settled a pair of lawsuits complaining that the city was not in compliance with the American with Disabilities Act when it came to street crossings.  The settlement will cost the city $85 million and will build access ramps at thousands of intersections.

But Bloomekatz reports that lawsuit is the tip of the iceberg:

But there are four other cases pending that could leave the city on the hook for hundreds of millions of dollars.

Fixing all of Los Angeles’ sidewalks would be a daunting task: Officials estimate the cost of improving them all would top $1.5 billion. But advocates for the disabled hope they can make a measurable dent in the problem.

The article continues with a series of short quotes from pedestrian advocates, including L.A. Streetsblog Editorial Board Member Deborah Murphy, and disabled pedestrians struggling with the city’s broken network of sidewalks.

Next comes a quote from Council Member Bernard Parks who both criticizes the city for not investing in infrastructure and then excusing not making the investment today based on the city’s budget crisis.

However, Bloomekatz’s research puts lie to that particular claim.  The City of Sacramento dedicates 20% of its pedestrian funds to sidewalk repair.  That level of dedication can make a real impact on the State Capitol, and it could make a real impact here as well.

Los Angeles has a choice to make, it can fix its sidewalks now or it can wait for more court orders.