Tuesday brought good news long overdue for people who use L.A.’s parody-worthy sidewalks: An agreement has been reached in the five-year, multi-plaintif lawsuit brought against the City of Los Angeles over its crumbling, cracked, and sometimes impassable sidewalks. If the supervising court approves the proposed settlement (which it is expected to do), $1.4 billion will be invested in curb repairs and improvements over the next 30 years. That means we’ll have smoother, more accessible sidewalks, and, as a result, Angelenos will be able to take their eyes off the ground and enjoy the city around them more safely.
In a statement, lead prosecuting counsel Guy Wallace said the investment “will make the city’s sidewalk system accessible to persons with mobility disabilities. It will install curb ramps throughout the city, fix sidewalks that are broken and torn up by tree roots, install accessible sidewalks where they do not exist, and remove many other barriers…. Over the course of the settlement, the city’s sidewalks will be transformed. And the lives of persons with mobility disabilities will be made a lot better.”
Councilman Paul Krekorian, who chairs the Budget and Finance Committee, joined a chorus of local officials praising the agreement. “For decades, buckled sidewalks have plagued neighborhoods from the San Fernando Valley to the South Bay,” he said. “All of that is going to change starting today with the city’s historic commitment to fix our sidewalks and make them accessible to everyone.”
Early investments are expected to begin with the start of FY 15-16. One more reason to cheer the city checking this item off: It should move improving deteriorating pipes on up the list.