Advocates Band-Aid Sidewalk Ouchies, Call For Speeding Up Repair
University Park Slow Jams event draws attention to glacial pace of L.A. City sidewalk repair
Yesterday morning, advocates placed bright turquoise oversized band-aid stickers on uneven cracked sidewalks in front of Norwood Street Elementary School, just off Washington Boulevard in South Los Angeles. The action was organized by University Park Slow Jams – a collaboration of Public Matters, L.A. Walks, USC Kid Watch, and the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy.
One of the event’s volunteer organizers, Lilia Garcia, spoke of the problems with banquetas levantadas (lifted/uneven sidewalks). She had tripped on one herself, injuring her hand badly enough that it required surgery. She’s urging the city to trim tree roots and put in banquetas con buen acceso para poder caminar (sidewalks that are easily accessible for those on foot).
Public Matters Creative Director Reanne Estrada stated that event organizers are mapping each and every sidewalk “ouchie” around the school, then sharing that map within the community and encouraging people to report the broken sidewalks to the city’s MyLA311 app. The bright band-aid stickers include a QR code linked to the city’s service request reporting website.
Estrada is hoping that a spike in service requests will get the city to speed up the “glacial pace” of sidewalk repair. She lamented that some parents recalled the broken sidewalks being there when they attended Norwood as kids, and noted that a recent City Controller audit found that, at the city’s current repair rate, communities would have to wait centuries to see their sidewalks fixed.
Learn more about and get involved in University Park Slow Jams’ advocacy via the group’s Spanish or English websites.