A Walker in L.A.: Pounding the Pavement

The city’s gotta do something about these sidewalks


L.A. is known for its palm trees and swimming pools, but we’re also sadly famous for our wavy pavement, like this three-foot swell that almost caused me to wipe out in Los Feliz the other day. Our buckled sidewalks are in such dire condition they’re actually costing the city money: L.A. pays out several million dollars annually to people who have been injured after taking an unplanned tumble during their walk. Thanks to some smart reporting by Los Angeles Times columnist Steve Lopez, the city’s residents now have a new awareness about what it will take to fix the problem. A road bond measure coming to our ballots in November doesn’t currently include fixing sidewalks, just potholes and other street repairs. Don’t our feet deserve better? You can take this poll to let your councilmember know that sidewalks matter. Until then, I recommend you watch your step.

Alissa Walker is a writer, a gelato eater, and a walker in L.A. She shares an experience from her adventures around town at CityThink each Wednesday. Follow her daily on Instagram at @awalkerinLA, on Twitter, or at her blog, and use the hashtag #betteroffped to share your own photographs of walking in L.A.

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  • Nancy

    Unfortunately, “fixing” our sidewalks has traditionally meant ripping out the trees. Our air is BROWN, people. We need the trees (and not those sad little saplings the city–in its infinite wisdom–so often plants in place of the old, established trees they just ripped out… WTF?). Anyway, barring some high-tech solution that my brain is not equipped to devise, I’d say let’s all just watch our steps out there. Wipe-out injuries suck, to be sure. But not being able to breathe the air is going to suck harder. For everyone.