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Who Will Pay to Fix San Diego's Broken Sidewalks?

San Diego quest to find solutions to repairing damaged city sidewalks continues, with home and business owners potentially facing liability for trip-and-fall accidents
October 3, 2015, 9am PDT | jwilliams | @jwillia22
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Konstantin Sutyagin

Liam Dillon of The Voice of San Diego reported last week that San Diego's murky policy on sidewalk repairs remains murky after two-years of study and discussion. A study conducted by the city "found almost 80,000 locations with significant cracks, lumps or other problems."

The current law puts the impetus for sidewalk repairs on property and business owners, while the city is legally responsible for pedestrian injuries resulting from accidents caused by poorly maintained sidewalks. A new ordinance could make property owners legally responsible for sidewalk-related accidents occurring in front of their property, while the city shifts a portion of the cost for sidewalk repair from the property owner back to the city.

This week, the City Council sought to provide some clarity on the issue, however a final policy identifying who will pay for needed repairs may not come until next year, reports David Garrick of The San Diego Union-Tribune. "The issue will be revisited in January when city staff is scheduled to unveil a new standard for acceptable sidewalk conditions, a schedule for fixing the needed repairs across the city and a plan to pay for those repairs." The $57 million required to repair damaged sidewalks is part of an estimated $5 billion backlog in infrastructure repairs that the city must cover, forcing a rethink of current policies.

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Published on Wednesday, September 16, 2015 in Voice of San Diego
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