Fort Worth Could Start Contributing to Sidewalk Repair Costs

A proposal in the city council could shift the burden of sidewalk repairs away from property owners, who are currently responsible for 100 percent of expenses.

1 minute read

January 5, 2023, 9:00 AM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction


After noticing the disparate states of sidewalks in different parts of her own neighborhood, Fort Worth journalist Emily Wolf examines the city’s sidewalk paving policy to find out why some sidewalks in the city are more well-maintained than others.

As it turns out, “Fort Worth has required private homeowners to maintain sidewalks since the 1960s, but stopped enforcing the penalties included in that ordinance several decades ago. What’s resulted is a patchwork of sidewalks in various states of disrepair across the city, with little recourse for owners with lower incomes or disabilities.” The issue is particularly evident in front of rental properties, Wolf notes. “Sidewalks in front of rentals, in particular, were often littered with large fractures and divots, the rentals’ owners far away from the realities of the area.”

Whether coincidentally or not, months after Wolf published a piece about the city’s inconsistent sidewalk policy and the challenges it poses for residents with disabilities, among others, “city staff presented a proposal to city council to establish a cost-sharing program similar to Dallas. Under the proposal, the city would use a portion of the fiscal year 2023 PayGo funding, totaling $2.6 million, to develop the program.” The program would have the city pay for 50 percent of the cost of repairs, “with a particular emphasis on low-income homes, seniors and disabled residents.”

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