Sidewalks Maintenance Matches Neighborhood Affluence in Boston

Roxbury, Mattapan, and parts of Dorchester are dealing with cracked and buckled sidewalks.
March 14, 2018, 7am PDT | Casey Brazeal | @northandclark
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Micha Weber

There are many ways to spot wealth, "but a new city analysis underscores a basic disparity that is often overlooked, though it’s in plain sight: Residents in the city’s poorest neighborhoods — Roxbury, Mattapan, and parts of Dorchester — are much more likely to contend with buckled asphalt, cracking concrete, and tree roots smashing through their sidewalks," Meghan E. Irons writes.

The differences are stark: "65 percent of the sidewalks in Roxbury and Dorchester are either in fair or poor condition; by contrast, 68 percent of the sidewalks downtown and in the Back Bay are in good condition, city data show."

"The city began taking a closer look at sidewalk equity last year after the issue was raised in a 154-page report from Mayor Martin J. Walsh’s Office of Resilience and Racial Equity. The document urged the city to rethink how it repairs and maintains sidewalks and develop a proactive, systematic approach in allocating resources," Irons reports.

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Published on Sunday, March 4, 2018 in The Boston Globe
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